Drone training for natural resource management, planning and mapping in Dominica

Drone being used for mapping, research and land management

The Caribbean Agua-Terrestrial Solutions Program (CATS) has been facilitating training for relevant personnel in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) which encompasses basic Drone Flying and Mapping in Dominica.

The goals of this training exercise are: to enhance the capacity of various stakeholders in the use of UAS and its application in resources mapping, planning and monitoring as well as to develop a UAS Policy governing the use of drones in research and resource management.

The Caribbean Agua-Terrestrial Solutions Program (CATS) is working with a number of institutions, stakeholders and groups within the Soufriere and Cabrits Marine Managed Areas of Dominica to develop capacity towards improved management of livelihood initiatives, natural resources and climate adaptation.

CATS Marine Expert, Camille David (PhD) said this training will play a critical role in terms of better decision making in relation to natural resource management and environmental issues.

“We have commenced a week long training in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), basically drone training and its application and use in natural resource management, planning and mapping. This is a critical skill because we need to do a more scientific and more informed decision making as it relates to natural resource management and one of the tools that have evolved over the last couple of years is the use of drones and how we apply that to get to quantify and obtain data which can address a number of environmental issues,” Dr. David said.

He continued, “Drones have a wide application in terms of forestry, coral reef monitoring, farming and agriculture because it’s an important monitoring tool for getting the areas of what maybe existing in a dense forest that cannot be accessed on foot so it can be used to identify where are the areas in the forest that there are patches, illegal activities going on, if there is need for reforestation that can help inform how you prioritize a restoration program.” 

David added “In terms of agriculture, if you have a very large farm and the farmer does not have the tools or even the man power to do the day to day surveillance, so you could fly the drone, get an areal photo and see which patches of the field that might need attention. If there is a disease outbreak it can help you to track the progress of that outbreak.”

He added that drones also have the ability to assist in the monitoring and restoration of Dominica’s coral reef systems.

David further stated that the persons who are taking part in this program will also be able to train others.

 “We have a number of different government departments represented at this training and through the CATS program we are going to provide a drone to Dominica so we are hoping that these first trainers will be able train other people within respective departments, so that will be ongoing knowledge transfer from what they have learnt. We also developed an operation manual and also a policy which would actually guide the use and application of drones in Dominica,” he explained.

Some of the activities which have been scheduled for the CATS Program Drone Training Course are mission planning and safe operation, The UAS components, drone use policy & site evaluation, standard operating procedures, mapping techniques, flight checks, planning, aerial surveys and post-processing and development of an operational manual to guide drone use operation in Dominica. 

The drone training started on May 20 and will run until May 24, 2019.

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  1. J Prosper
    May 23, 2019

    Dominica has been lack of standards for a long time. Dominicans need to wake up and face reality. For Dominicans, it is just fine with them to continue to bend their butts and drop their feces on their beached, hunt/ fish without a license, build with certifications and no building code standards, huckster with guidelines, throw away oil from automotive repairs anywhere in environment and filth their city with garbage. Now some standards are implemented, their feather are ruffled. What a bunch of silly people.

  2. J Prosper
    May 23, 2019

    Dominica is lack of standards for a long time. Its time for Dominicans to wake up and face reality. Dominicans are a bunch of laws breakers by nature. For Dominicans, it is just fine with them to continue to bend their butts and drop their feces on their beaches, fish and hunt without a license, build without any certification and building codes standards, do huckstering without guidelines, throw away oil from automotive repairs in their environment and filth their own city with garbage. Now some standards are put in place, their feathers are ruffled. What a bunch of silly people.

  3. Annon
    May 23, 2019

    These drones are not for mapping and research. This is a cover for what they will ultimately be used for. They are for seeing who is on certain lands. They can do all the mapping and research from space satellites. They don’t need drones for this. Drones are for seek and destroy missions, just like they were doing in the Middle East. Time to wake up. Ask yourself who is really behind this.

    • carlty
      May 24, 2019

      Actually, Drone technology in agriculture is very resources, efficient and effective. It is used for increased crop production and monitoring crop growth.
      This is some great reading in on the technology. If we want to expand productivity in agriculture, technological advances are the way to go.


      • Annon
        May 25, 2019

        Would you elaborate on ‘how drones increase crop production?’ If you are a farmer, you should already know how to increase production and be monitoring your crops on almost a daily basis anyway. Do you really think that all the farmers are going to get drones and have them flying around. Drones don’t know boundaries.

  4. time has told
    May 22, 2019

    In certain countries, you cannot just import a drone for private usage. Dominica has no laws requiring drones though. In some senses i love and and at the same time fed up of our lack of standards. At least i can still drink and drive. In addition, if you are caught flying a drone withing so many feet of an airport you can be arrested.

    • The People
      May 22, 2019

      Do you know how idiotic you sound? Review your comment please or at least speak out loud before you type because you lack basic knowledge and it shows.

      • time has told
        May 23, 2019

        I know it sounds stupid, like not being able to drink alcohol in public. But you cant do that either in a few countries. In Barbados for example, drone usage is generally prohibited. Just look it up. You need a permit https://www.uavsystemsinternational.com/drone-laws-by-country/barbados-drone-laws/

        And yes, i still love the freedom of my country in that we can still do pretty much whatever we want without being put in jail or pay a fine. Its like the wild west in many instances. That has both good and bad effects.

      • talesofwoe
        May 27, 2019

        The People, it seems that you are one of those People who chastise others based on your own personal ignorance. Expand your knowledge because from the looks of it you are the one sounding idiotic.

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