Douglas Chica, EcoViva’s Policy and Program Manager, participated in the first annual Regional Flying Labs Conference in Panama. The conference brought together organizations across Central America to discuss how emerging technologies can accelerate and scale the impact of disaster response, health, development and environmental efforts. The initiative is part of a community using robotics for social good in the Global South.
The integration of robotics, such as aerial drones, can provide solutions to challenges across Central America such as:
- To monitor the progress of restoration efforts
- To enforce land-use regulations and protected area restrictions
- To control the proliferation of disease vectors like mosquitoes
- To improve natural disaster preparedness and response efforts
Topics discussed included the use of robotics for environmental monitoring, precision agriculture and detection of mosquito breeding sites in urban areas.
Douglas visited the Robotics Laboratory of Panama Flying Labs, founded in collaboration with staff from Cuba’s Manglar Vivo project. They shared information about the different ways they have used drones to address a variety of problems due to climate change. For example, during natural disaster emergencies, medication and first aid equipment can be transported to communities or islands that are difficult and dangerous to reach when flooded.
EcoViva’s participation in the conference helps build and strengthen the Regional Mangrove Alliance. Panama, Cuba, Mexico and now El Salvador have joined forces to develop a regional protocol for mangrove restoration. This project will enable the participating countries to implement innovative solutions that mitigate the impacts of climate change and conserve mangrove wetlands in urban areas. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration with Panama Flying Labs and bringing new knowledge and expertise to the Northern Triangle though this alliance.