Following a training conducted by the group Tushevs Aerials in August 2014, indigenous leaders from the Loreto and Madre de Dios regions in Peru are discovering how drones can play a prominent role in monitoring environmental threats to the rainforest.
The workshops were held in the community of Saramuro located on the Marañón River and brought together 15 participants from various Amazonian communities, including members of the Embera-Wounaan community in Panama. The participants took part in sessions using flight simulators and learned how to use software to plan flights using the autopilot feature. There were also sessions on how to evaluate the data and create maps from the photographs collected by the drone.
In this video created by the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP for its initials in Spanish), which was also the host of the workshop, community members say that the drones will allow for more efficient and faster monitoring of potential threats such as illegal logging and mining, as well as land invasions through documentation.
Once the initial workshop ended, plans are being made for follow-up sessions to take place in Panama in early 2015. These sessions will devote more time to fine-tune their flying skills and how to better evaluate the data collected.