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EEI Seminar. "Drones for environmental monitoring and territorial defense in environmental conflicts across indigenous lands" by Jaime Paneque-Gálvez

Date: 2017-06-28

Title: “Drones for environmental monitoring and territorial defense in environmental conflicts across indigenous lands”

Speaker: Jaime Paneque-Gálvez, UNAM

Date: Wednesday, 28th June 2017
Time: 12.30 - 14.30 h 
Place: C5B/025 Classroom - Building C - Facultat Ciències i Biociències 

Indigenous territories are increasingly under pressure as a result of the intensification of extractive activities, the advancement of agricultural frontiers, green and other forms of land grabbing, amongst others, which often translate into environmental degradation and conflicts. In such territories, irrespective of having land ownership or not, indigenous communities usually suffer from poverty, social exclusion, and lack the means to address the issues of environmental degradation caused by companies and other actors. Furthermore, indigenous communities can seldom rely on the state to help them tackle their problems. Designing and implementing participatory mapping and environmental monitoring programs with the assistance of allies (e.g., NGOs or academic teams) can be very useful to produce evidences of environmental impacts. However, there is no much research about the potential of such programs to deal with environmental conflicts more effectively. Here I posit that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for environmental monitoring and territorial defense may result in social, environmental and territorial innovations with potential to destabilize conflicts to the benefit of the indigenous communities involved. Nonetheless, this destabilizing potential may also negatively affect these communities depending upon certain internal and external factors. In this presentation I will reflect on such innovative potential based on some pilot experiences that some colleagues and myself have carried out in indigenous communities facing different environmental conflicts in Latin America. I will briefly discuss several challenges and opportunities that are particularly relevant for the successful utilization of drones in environmental conflicts across indigenous lands.

Short Bio
Jaime Paneque-Gálvez is an environmental scientist, with undergraduate degrees in Biology (U. Seville) and Environmental Sciences (U. Cordova), an MSc in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (U. Wales, Aberystwyth), a PhD in Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) and a Post-Doc in Environmental Geography (CIGA-UNAM). At present, Jaime is assistant professor at the Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. His research lies within the field of land-change science, particularly in relation to degradation of neotropical forests and periurbanization in Latin America. In addition, he is exploring the potential social, environmental and territorial innovations, as well as the risks, associated with indigenous utilization of new technologies such as small drones and water analysis kits for environmental monitoring and territorial defense in environmental conflicts.

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