Drones in firefighting in the Protected Areas of the Selva Maya

Drones are increasingly being used in surveillance and monitoring of Protected Areas (PA). Its versatility allows observing wildlife, evaluating forest areas, “reaching” otherwise inaccessible sites and detecting threats to natural and cultural resources.

One of the most serious threats is the devastating forest fires, which are better managed through drone overflights. In fire zones and during fire seasons, the information generated with these devices contributes to making more timely decisions and to define more appropriate prevention, combat and control strategies. On the other hand, the use of drones has the quality of providing security to technical personnel by preventing them from being exposed to high-risk areas, for example, fire fronts.

In this sense, and being aware of the positive impact of the use of drones, the Project “Support for the monitoring of biodiversity and climate change in the Selva Maya”, of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), provides equipment and capacities to the technical personnel of some PAs in the Selva Maya. The satisfaction is twofold: on the one hand, it promotes the conservation of the ecosystems, and on the other, it prevents the technical personnel from compromising their physical integrity.

“Although we have been using drones in forest fire fighting activities in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve for little time, we already perceive its various advantages for our work as rangers”.

Miguel Álvaro, Ranger, Calakmul Biosphere Reserve