Acting Forester at the Forestry, Wild Life and Parks Division, Machel Sulton has said he is thankful for the skills learnt from a one-week drone flying and mapping training which ended here recently.
The training, in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) was facilitated by the Caribbean Agua-Terrestrial Solutions Program (CATS). It was held from May 20th to May 24th, 2019.
Sulton was speaking at the closing ceremony for the training at the Forestry Division Conference Room on Friday.
The Forester said all that he has learnt will be used to benefit various environmental factors in Dominica.
“We had an experience not just in drone flying but flying drones to map for environmental factors…and to benefit further in terms of actually mapping out environmental areas. So, let’s say in terms of a disaster, you can fly a drone in an area that you cannot access and see how affected the area is; take shots, take videos and you can actually go back there now and get a road to go in,” he said.
He added that a drone can also be used to map roofs and houses and to assess the extent to which they are damaged.
“You don’t actually have to go to the location. You can send your drone up and get an image and you can see from from your image and analyze what exactly can be done,” Sulton said.
He went on to say that from a forestry perspective, the training was very beneficial.
“We can deploy a drone from a station; send it up and look into a forest region and look at how the forest habitat is and we can actually map it out and go back and actually plant trees. We can also use it for monitoring wild life,” Sulton explained.
He expressed elation at having been the opportunity and is well equipped to train others.
Seven persons received certificates for completing the one-week training.
CATS Marine Expert, Camille David (PhD) said he is pleased that the training was successfully completed.
“I am very pleased we successfully completed this week’s training. I know it was very intense but I’m sure from the reviews that I have heard from all the participants it was very applicable and very timely. Today is our mandate to strengthen and to build the capacity and the technical skill that is required to address a number of problems that confront us with climate change and other global issues.” David stated.
The Caribbean Agua-Terrestrial Solutions Program is continuing to work 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.