Across the world’s continents, 90% of the water evaporating up into the atmosphere and producing clouds comes from trees. They provide the ingredients for cloud formation. And nowhere is this more apparent than over The Amazon. Even though it is the largest river system in the world, more water flows in the sky above the Amazon Basin than does within its vast network of waterways. Clouds in this invisible and enormous ‘river in the sky’ deposit rain over huge areas of the South American continent.
Throughout 2020, we are supporting the Amazon Conservation Association’s work to train the local landowners, indigenous communities, students, and officials in Peru and Bolivia to actively monitor and report illegal deforestation in the Western Amazon – the region where the rainforest meets the Andes.
In 2017 Amazon Conservation launched the Southwest Amazon Drone Center, a training centre geared towards providing local peoples the training and tools needed to use state of the art technology to detect deforestation. The vastness and remoteness of the Amazon Rainforest make it a challenge to patrol it in order to stop incidents of illegal deforestation, such as invasions to log trees or mine the forest. Not only that, face-to-face encounters with those conducting illegal deforestation for financial gain can be extremely dangerous, and potentially deadly. With technology, Amazon Conservation is changing that. The Southwest Amazon Drone Center allows for local communities, landowners, private sector companies, and government officials to get the training, certifications, and access to high tech drones to be used as remote sensing tools to monitor deforestation in tropical forests. The Center offers free training courses as well as technical support to attendees in order to increase legal response to illegal activities by producing evidence of illegal activities that can be used to prosecute offenders and deterrence of future illegal activities.
We are supporting this particular aspect of the Amazon Conservation Association’s range of activities with 5% of all 2020 membership revenues. Support from the Cloud Appreciation Society will enable Amazon Conservation to train hundreds of local people to use this technology to fight in the front lines to protect the Amazon Rainforest, one of the last wild places left on Earth.