Friday 20 October: Use of drones for forestry

Friday 20 October: Use of drones for forestry

Today we will focus in detail on the experience of a project, implemented in Panama, that used drones to monitor forests at the community level. Join us for a live webinar and take a look at the other additional resources the project has made available for this learning activity. 

LIVE WEBINAR: Community Monitoring of Forests in Indigenous Territories in Panama

WHEN: Friday 20 OCTOBER 2 PM UTC - 4 PM Central European SummerTime

9 AM Panama 

TO ENTER ROOM USE THE FOLLOWING ADOBE CONNECT LINK: http://fao.adobeconnect.com/e-agdronespanama/

Enter the room by logging in as a guest and filling in your name

Topic of the webinar: Community Monitoring of Forests in Indigenous Territories in Panama

Maricarmen Ruiz from FAO Panama will share her experience on the use of drones for community forest monitoring, working closely together with Indigenous Communities in Panama during a project that was called “Community monitoring of forests in indigenous territories in Panama” with the support from ONU-REDD. She will explain why and how the technology was introduced, give you some insights in what worked well and what the challenges are and what impact the project had on the communities involved.

María del Carmen Ruiz Jaén is a technical advisor in Community-based Monitoring and Forestry. She holds a PhD in tropical forest ecology from McGill University in Canada, a master's degree in forest restoration ecology from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras and a degree in biology with a major in botany from the University of Panama. For the past five years, she has been part of the team of the FAO Subregional Office for Mesoamerica and has supported the implementation of forest monitoring systems at the community and national levels and linking community forest monitoring to indigenous territories with sustainable forest management activities. For more than 10 years he has worked with different methodologies for the estimation of carbon stocks and forest inventories in different types of tropical forests in Panama, Puerto Rico, Ghana and Gabon.

Picture credit - @FAO/M. Hasan

Experience Capitalization

To learn more on the project you can download the promising practice fact sheet of the project experience in English or in Spanish. These fact sheets give detailed information about the project, the capacity development initiatives, the use of drones and is bringing forward the lessons learned, the challenges and the sollutions the project found. Click on the language of your choice to download the document. 

 In English  

In Spanish

Testimony of one of the beneficiaries of the project

In the following video clip you can learn more about the experience from Rafael Valdespino, Technician from Marraganti, Comarca Embera Wounaan in Panama. He is one of the members of the indigenous communities involved in the project that benefitted from the capacity development activities in the project and now manages the monitoring of the forest for his community.


Other resources on the use of drones for forestry monitoring

The following articles and links can give you more insights and knowledge on the use of drones in forestry monitoring.

News: Use of drones are used to monitor and enforce forests in Malaysia

Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s implemented a new initiative called GeoDrone to enhance its forest management activities, including monitoring and enforcement. Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. http://www.e-agriculture.org/news/malaysia-drones-are-used-monitor-and-enforce-forests

Article: Using lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor tropical forest recovery

This article from Elsevier/Biological Conservation Journal discusses Ecosynth, a remote-sensing monitoring method for tropical forests that offers a viable alternative to ground based quantification of forest structures. http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0006320715001421/1-s2.0-S0006320715001421-main.pdf?_tid=df3d11ae-998c-11e7-897a-00000aab0f26&acdnat=1505421778_8ff7a0ada757c283ce5a3a1c8f18a85d

Article: High spatial resolution three-dimensional mapping of vegetation spectral dynamics using computer vision 

This article from Elsevier/Remote Sensing of Environment Journal explores the 3D mapping of the forest structure using a low cost unmanned aerial system (UAS). Using this system repeated scans revealed dynamics in canopy attributes at the scale of individual trees. http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0034425713001326/1-s2.0-S0034425713001326-main.pdf?_tid=0d6b68ce-9991-11e7-819f-00000aacb362&acdnat=1505423573_c24d31f4fa2572aadbeb8d0901c72f24  

Article: Precision forestry: trees counting in urban areas using visible imagery based on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

This article from Elsevier/IFAC-Papers Online describes an approach to counting trees in an urban environment http://ac.els-cdn.com/S2405896316315658/1-s2.0-S2405896316315658-main.pdf?_tid=3c98813e-9a1a-11e7-927f-00000aab0f6c&acdnat=1505482493_da9c54b9570107e044621c0d51f9610f


Exercise 1 - have you already thought about the experience you would like to share during this activity? Still some time to share your experience over the weekend. We will review the submissions on Monday. Submit now on the dedicated page

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Post them here by commenting on the page! Share additional resources or your experience on using drones in forestry here. 

We are also happy to look at the questions you might have for Maricarmen Ruiz after the webinar. 

José Sánchez-Narvaez
José Sánchez-NarvaezITACAB Convenio Andrés Bello - Universidad Nacional Agraria La MolinaPeru

Según el documento “Drones para el monitoreo comunitario de bosques… Panamá” uno de los objetivos del Proyecto comunitario de monitoreo forestal del programa ONUP REDD, fue fortalecer las capacidades de gestión de los recursos naturales de los territorios indígenas. A  partir  de  este  proyecto,  se  capacitó  en  el  uso  de  drones  a personal de once de los doce congresos y consejos indígenas del país. La formación incluyó  la  elaboración  de  planes  de  vuelo,  armado  y  maniobra  de  drones, procesamiento  de  imágenes y elaboración de mapas con imágenes en alta resolución.


Personalmente me parece una experiencia de gran valor, que incluso puede derivar en el uso de  drones para otras actividades agrícolas y pecuarias muy importante para la población rural de ALC.