Jaime Paneque-Gálvez is Assistant Professor at the Center of Research in Environmental Geography (CIGA), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His research focuses on land-change science, ethnoecology, political ecology, grassroots innovation and citizen science. He is especially well known for his work on the use of drones for community-based monitoring in tropical forest environments. He also works on topics of participatory mapping , Indigenous knowledge and land practices, and remote sensing of forest degradation.

Drones in Community-Based Forest Monitoring


Screengrab of drone footage of Sholinab village in Wapichana territory, Guyana. Image source: Digital Democracy [screengrab]. Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://wp.digital-democracy.org/we-built-a-drone/

Along with collaborators, Jaime Paneque-Gálvez has undertaken research on the use of small drones to support Indigenous and community-based forest monitoring projects in Central and South America. Following community training workshops in Peru, Guyana, and Panama, Paneque-Gálvez et al. (2017) suggest how drones could be used by Indigenous communities for defending territory , building autonomy around data acquisition and ownership, negotiating participation in payment for ecosystem services schemes such as REDD+, and mobilising for environmental justice. They also note the technological, socio-economic, and ethical challenges of sustaining such projects in a region where Indigenous territories are affected by land grabs and illegal logging and mining, uneven access to internet connectivity, and neoliberal capitalist frameworks of environmental governance .

Find out more in our radio episode on Jaime's work.

smart forests radio