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.

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