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FAO, DA initiate drone programs to evaluate disaster risk

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Philippines: The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the Department of Agriculture of Philippines have initiated a program involving drones which can help in reducing disaster risk in the agricultural land of Philippines. The initiative was launched on Thursday, last week, in Pampanga that allows drones equipped with photogrammetric and navigation equipment for rapid and reliable assessments.

“The adoption of modern technologies in agriculture, such as the use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), can significantly enhance risk and damage assessments, and revolutionize the way we prepare for and respond to disasters that affect the livelihoods of vulnerable farmers and fishers and the country’s food security,” FAO representative in the Philippines José Luis Fernández said.

Philippines – that is increasingly experiencing the impacts of climate change in the form of intense typhoons, flooding and drought, has improved its capacities to generate accurate and timely data as it is a vital source of information, said Fernandez. While the Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, it is also one of the most advanced in shifting from reactive emergency response to proactive risk reduction.

“With the use of a drone, a team of technical specialists can assess up to 600 hectares in one day, significantly accelerating the process of projecting the extent of damage that an incoming hazard may cause in agricultural areas, and quantifying actual damage after a disaster,” DA Filed Operations Service Director Christopher Morales said.

He also adds by saying that data generated from drone flights will also be useful in the design of agricultural infrastructure support projects as well as environmental monitoring. “This initiative is a pivotal development that is fully aligned with our national strategy for disaster risk reduction and management for agriculture,” he said.

Source: MB.com