Panama's tribes launch drones to fight deforestation

    by Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Thursday, 2 June 2016 13:00 BST

A Ngabe indigenous woman looks at the mountains in Hato Chami in the Ngabe-Bugle Region, Panama August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Indigenous people in Panama are using drones as a new weapon to monitor deforestation on their lands as thousands of hectares disappear every year in one of the world's most biodiverse rainforests, the United Nations said.

More than half of Panama is covered with tropical rainforest, home to various indigenous groups who rely on the forests to survive.

Indigenous people make up nearly 13 percent of Panama's population of 4 million, with about 200,000 living on autonomous tribal lands, known as comarcas.

"These tools enable us to better know the forests' characteristics and resources we have in our territories," Eliseo Quintero, a leader of the Ngabe-Buglé tribe, said in a statement.

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