Amazon tribes are using drones to track deforestation.

image©Marizilda Cruppe wwf-uk

SOURCE CNN/ Hazel Pfeifer      Awapy Uru Eu Wau Wau grew up deep inside the Amazon rainforest.

Image © Marizilda Cruppe WWF/uk

The 28-year-old belongs to a 250-strong tribe called the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau.

The community — which remained in isolation from the outside world until the 1980s — lives in a legally protected area of rainforest spanning 7,000 square miles in the state of Rondonia, in western Brazil. They depend on the forest for growing and gathering food, hunting, fishing and medicine.

Image © Marizilda Cruppe WWF~UK   Awapy Uru Eu Wau Wau is one of a group of indigenous people who use drones to monitor deforestation on their land in the Brazilian Amazon.

But the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau’s home and their way of life is under threat, because the Amazon is burning. These fires are not naturally occurring. Most are started illegally, to clear vegetation for illicit crop farming and cattle ranching.

Image ©ww2ct11791 In December 2019, on their first surveillance after the drone-operating training course, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau discovered a plot that had been illegally cleared of trees

Last year’s fires were devastating to the region and this year has seen a continued rise in fires, despite a government ban that started in mid-July.

Image © Carl de Souza AFP – AFP via Getty Images. A fire rages in the Amazon in northern Brazil’s Para state, on August 16, 2020.

The drones create high-resolution images, video and GPS mapping data which can be used as evidence when reporting illegal activities to the authorities. Traversing dense jungle is hard on foot and the drones enable indigenous communities to monitor a much wider area, while avoiding potentially dangerous confrontations with illegal loggers and land-grabbers, says Spina Avino.The WWF-Kaninde project has donated 19 drones to 18 organizations involved in forest protection in the Amazon.

Image and quotes courtesy CNN

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