Brazil turns to drones to protect Amazon
By Joe Leahy in Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso. April 21,2014.
Brazilian municipalities are turning to drones as they prepare to implement a tough new law designed to save the Amazon from total deforestation.
Municipal authorities in the Amazon region, ...........1 ............. of which covers double the size of Scotland, are looking to use drones to map properties and monitor whether farmers and others are maintaining the minimum of forest cover required under the new forest code.
“With the acquisition of a drone, we would have a better result, we would have a panoramic view of how this process of recuperation is progressing," said Gercilene Meira, a specialist with the state environmental secretariat in the municipality of Alta Floresta, in Mato Grosso state. “We have done some tests using balloons but it was not sufficient."
Passed in 2012, Brazil's forest code was hailed as a breakthrough in the country's efforts to protect the Amazon while maintaining its emergence as an agricultural power. It is already one of ...........2 ............. exporters of sugar, coffee, soya beans and beef.
The law requires farmers in the Amazon to preserve up to 80 per cent of the forest on their land as well as protect springs and rivers. Those who violated previous restrictions on deforestation are required
to recuperate parts of the lost vegetation on their lands.
The need for the new law was highlighted last year, when deforestation of the Amazon increased for the first time in several years.
Adapted from Financial Times