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Drones for Justice: Rainforest Conservation and Protection by Local Communities in Borneo, IndonesiaTayan, Kabupaten Sanggau, West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia, Jan 27 to Feb 28 This expedition aims on mapping rainforest with an extraordinary high biodiversity. The remote area is subject to anthropogenic disturbances large scale logging, mining and oil palm plantations. Indonesian spatial planning process actually gives locals a chance to influence spatial plans. The key is the locals need to provide maps proving that the forest are still exist and they need to provide that the forest is conserved and protected through the customary system sustainably. The locals need to obtain the status of “customary forest” in order to protect the remaining forest. Conventional participatory mapping might take months in remote areas, using drones is way more efficient and more accurate. Scientifically, UAVs as a method to conduct participatory mapping and to monitor land-use-changes provides a promising methods and arena for further research. Technically, very-high resolution geo-referenced map will be developed through methods of using UAV to take aerial images of the forest, then developed into maps and legal documents for the local communities. Educationally, training in mapping forest using UAVs Communities, NGOs and government agencies is believed to give community strength to support their on-going efforts in protecting the forest, thus promoting environmental and social justice. We will explore the geographical heart of Borneo in West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The area is covered by some of the last remaining primary rainforests worldwide, that harbors an extraordinary high biodiversity and local communities that depend on it. We use UAVs for aerial mapping, showing the importance and the beauty of this ecosystem.
The 2015 OCEAN71 expedition will take place in Fiskardo, in the northern part of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece. The endeavor of this new expedition encompasses two different missions : the survey of underwater remains of a shot and sunk english Beaufighter bomber plane and an ethological approach of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Both missions will deploy innovative survey techniques by air or diving investigations.
The team now has a somewhat reliable internet connection and will now have more frequent updates. The team split up this morning, half of the team joined the other sandy beach ecology group, and the rest of the taem went to the main village in Aitutaki to obtain better internet connections, and download the files that are necessary for mapping and beginning the remotely piloted systems surveys. After returning to our hotel, the team reassembled, and the cargo finally arrived from the airport! We opened our luggage and to our dismay, one of our ROVs had been smashed to pieces. This came as a shock as it was in a pelican case, and the other ROV was loosely packed in a crate with foam padding. The team rushed to assemble the shattered ROV, and affix the bio-fluorescence payload to the ROV, and compensate for the chance in balance / ballast. We also assembled all of our robots, and took a picture with the rest of the teams, to publish in the local newspapers, to acclimate the local villagers to the work that we are doing, and the the strange looking tools that we are using. After repairing the broken ROV (Leviathan), and mounting up the payload (on R.U.M.), we headed out to the northern part of Aitutaki and launched our experimental setup on it's first dive. The dive was successful, and we detected the proteins in the coral that we were looking for! There are a number of things that we need to improve before the next dive, but that will come in the following days.
Second trial dive completed... After the results from the last dive I shifted some of my ballast weight further aft to see if would help prevent the ROV diving under forward motion. I also sorted out the vlc issue and setup screen castify. This time we setup at a different location just of one of the rock outcrops near station (Torkler Rocks) for the testing. Once again the lack of natural light meant that visibility was limited, again everything went surprisingly well, the ROV handles better with the ballast change (now rises slightly under forward motion, which is what I was hoping for) and the software and recording went without a hitch this time (though again not a whole lot to be seen other than kelp). Again the ROV was in the water (only around 5m depth at this site) for around 30 minutes and still had quite a bit left in the tank, I am surprised how well the LiFePO4 batteries hold up in the low temperatures. One issue I have yet to sort out is the restriction in lateral movement that I suspect is caused by the drag of the floating line on the underside of the ice. I suspect this wont be less of an issue on deeper dives and I have a smaller diameter floating line that I will also try out.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation, scientific research, and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit http://www.moore.org/
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