The innovations in technology for the past decades show promising applications in research, environmental science, biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. The need for responsive, relevant and cost effective ways of data gathering and monitoring has been one of the directions of many organizations and institutions to optimize resources available and address environmental challenges more effectively. Daluhay in partnership with SUBKALN (San Luis Aurora Dumagat and Alta Forest Guards Organization) with the support of the Rainforest Trust launches its first DARNa Conservation Initiative. DARNa Conservation Initiative or the Drone-Assisted Research and Nature Conservation Initiative aims to build capacity for Daluhay’s conservation biologists and forester and the SUBKALN in conducting monitoring and assessment of forests and other ecosystems using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle light weight Drones. Information gathered from the DARNa Conservation Initiative are forecasted to be used in research, sustainable forest planning and management and biodiversity conservation among others.
Also named after the Filipino Superheroine, DARNa took flight last December 29, 2020 in the forest of Brgy Dibut inside the ancestral domain of San Luis, Aurora. Following the flight plan, DARNa’s objectives are to gather aerial views of the forest and identify areas with kaingin (slash and burn farming) and illegal logging activities. The second flight was conducted in Brgy. Dikapinisan also inside the ancestral domain last January 08, 2021 with the same objectives. Orientations and initial drone flying was also conducted with the members of the SUBKALN Forest Guards. DARNa has the ability to capture high quality videos and images and map coordinates which are both crucial for forest monitoring.
With DARNa on board, SUBKALN Forest Guards in the near future will be able to conduct patrolling and map other areas that are hard to reach by foot patrol. Daluhay will be able to establish spatial and temporal data across ecosystems that will be useful for communities and other stakeholders in protecting and conserving natural resources.