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Community based monitoring approach in the North Ecuadorian Amazon: using ICTs to enhance local capacity.

Authors: David Toscano*, Instituto de Geografía, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Carlos Mena, Instituto de Geografía, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Topics: South America, Drones, Environment
Keywords: Amazonia, Monitoring
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Ecuadorian northern Amazon suffers a constant conflict between indigenous and settled people, extractive activities such as oil industries, extensive African palm agriculture, mining and forest logging. The presence of such industries promote a constant change in social, economic and environmental aspects, which in turn encourages the construction of roads, migration, pollution, and land cover and land use change. Therefore, strategies for monitoring change are highly important in the region, especially for local people as evidence of impacts. In this regard, an environmental monitoring community network was specifically created to address water pollution, environmental liabilities and selective logging, promoted by local organizations and community leaders. In the last 4 years, the use of technology kits such as drones, mobile phones, and survey mobile applications, have been used to strengthen monitoring methods. The collected data allows the report and surveillance of industry in the community lands. A systematic collection of evidence shows different social and environmental exposure risks in the region. Furthermore, the use of applications and technology encourages new forms of protection of the Ecuadorian Amazonia, especially when there is a lack of available public data, and there is a need for environmental information. In the long term, it is expected that the increase of specific data and impacts reports would be crucial as evidence of the environmental impacts of extractive activities for local organization and governmental authorities, as tools for decision-making processes and public policies.

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