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DIY drones might just be the future of rainforest conservation

They can use the drones to map out incursions on their territory.


Cynthia McKelvey


Posted on Apr 16, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 10:39 pm CDT

For indigenous tribes living in rainforests around the world, the incursion of loggers and miners can present a serious problem. These tribes depend on the natural resources of the rainforest to survive and maintain their communities. When outsiders come in to take those resources, they can threaten the tribe’s very livelihood.

The community of the Wapichana are taking action, however. Quartz has reported that instructional videos on YouTube and DIY Drones have made it possible for the Wapichana to craft their own drone in order to survey remote areas of their protected land within the rainforest in the small country of Guyana, just north of Brazil. The drone makes it possible for the Wapichana to document the illegal activities of loggers and miners therein.

The nonprofit Digital Democracy has stepped in to help the Wapichana build and maintain the drone.

They also have support from, which does drone-based conservation work all over the world.

According to Quartz, the Guyanan government has a history of corruption and was not always sympathetic to the needs of the Wapichana and the several other indigenous tribes living in the country. However, the country has a new government now, and the activists working with the Wapichana are hopeful that they might have some successes in protecting their lands.

H/T Quartz

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*First Published: Apr 16, 2016, 2:32 pm CDT