DRONES FOR SOCIAL GOOD
UNDP Maldives takes a “fight and
flight” response to climate change
- The Maldives is the lowest lying country
in the world. It is formed by a chain of 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, and
home to nearly 400.000 people. It’s a home that now faces the threat of
extinction due to climate change. Eighty percent of the islands in the Maldives
are only one metre above sea level. Without urgent action, the Maldives, like
many other island nations around the world, could soon disappear.
- "I have lost hundreds of
banana plants, which has cost me the income I depend on to sustain my
household," Ameena tells us. One
important step towards helping Ameena and her neighbours is creating risk
maps, which provide essential data required to inform emergency response plans.
Images of the same area taken over time, including before and after a disaster,
can help design actions to protect people and property from the hazards of
- In response, UNDP and the Government of
Maldives came up with an out-of-the-box idea. They decided to fly drones across
the islands to create three-dimensional maps and chart the topography of the
terrain. And the initial results are very promising: it
took just one day for a drone to map an entire island.
- UNDP partnered with DJI, the leading
drone company from China. The local team is now working with to the Disaster
Management Centre and the Maldives National Defence Force to figure out how to
get the most out of using drones in disaster planning and relief missions. For
now they have a complete 3D map of Maabaidhoo Island. The map shows where the coast
has been eroded at one end and where the soil is protected by a mangrove
plantation on the other. For Ibrahim and other community leaders, it offers
important clues about which areas would be safest in case another tsunami
- The map is just the beginning.
Drones alone cannot resolve the challenges brought on by climate change, but
they can be a powerful ally for communities on the frontlines.
Click https://stories.undp.org/drones-for-social-good link to open resource.