People, Environment

Drones to Help Protect Biodiversity

Drones to Help Protect BiodiversityDrones to Help Protect Biodiversity

The Department of Environment has been given access to drones used by the Ministry of Defense to monitor protected areas, director of the Wildlife and Biodiversity Office at DOE said.

Speaking to ISNA, Majid Kharrazian Moqaddam added that there are 25 million hectares of protected areas, but only 2,600 rangers to oversee them, which means every ranger has to cover 100 square kilometers and that’s not feasible.

Moqaddam said the only way to ensure all areas are properly monitored is to “take on more rangers or use drones, both of which require funding”.

Smart drones are already monitoring protected areas in some countries. Like online monitoring, the task involves both hardware and software.

“Now that we are in the post-sanctions period, we’re optimistic about receiving credit and undertaking smart monitoring at least in a few areas as pilot projects,” he said.

Moqaddam noted that drones are used in many countries to monitor the hard-to-access areas and expressed hope that with the lifting of sanctions, the department will be given a more generous budget to help protect the environment.

Though the allocated credits are not sufficient for smart monitoring, DOE is preparing a plan for this purpose. With a few more touches, the plan will be ready for implementation. It involves the capacities of the Ministry of Defense to monitor protected areas.

The department divides protected areas into four categories: national parks, natural monuments, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation areas.