- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brazil has a new weapon in the fight to save the Amazon rain forest: drones.

In order to patrol areas of the region that are twice the size of Scotland, Brazilian municipalities have warmed to the new technology, the Financial Times reported Monday.

“With the acquisition of a drone, we would have a better result, we would have a panoramic view of how this process of recuperation is progressing,” Gercilene Meira, a specialist with the state environmental secretariat in the municipality of Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso, told the Times. “We have done some tests using balloons but it was not sufficient.”

Brazil’s environmentalist officials are constantly pitted in legislative battle with “ruralistas,” who represent agriculturalists. Drone advocates have emerged among environmentalists because they believe that eyes in the sky will allow authorities to catch rural farmers not complying with rain forest regulations.

Currently, Brazil requires farmers in the Amazon to maintain up to 80 percent of the forest on their land, as well as protect springs and rivers, the Times reported.

Farmers who are found to be in non-compliance with the nation’s rain forest code must recuperate parts of the lost vegetation, the paper reported. 

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