Ngabe-Buglé tribe

Panama's indigenous tribes launch drones to fight deforestation

TECHNOLOGY > Thursday 2 June 2016 - 6:52am

BOGOTA - Indigenous people in Panama are using drones as a new weapon to monitor deforestation on their lands as thousands of hectares disappear every year in one of the world's most biodiverse rainforests, the United Nations said.

More than half of Panama is covered with tropical rainforest, home to various indigenous groups who rely on the forests to survive.

"The main objective of monitoring with drones is to identify changes in specific points of the forest cover," the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The monitoring is carried out in areas under deforestation and degradation pressure, which are only observable with high resolution spatial images."

Indigenous people make up nearly 13 percent of Panama's population of 4 million, with about 200,000 living on autonomous tribal lands, known as comarcas.

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