Rwanda introduces drones to tame environmental crimes

Rwanda introduces drones to tame environmental crimes

A 'Phantom 2' drone by DJI company flies during the 4th Intergalactic Meeting of Phantom's Pilots (MIPP) in an open secure area in the Bois de Boulogne, western Paris, March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Rwanda is deploying drones to help the government fight environmental crimes.

Local media reports that the country’s investigation bureau and the Ministry of Environment have launched the use of drones to combat illegal acts that are considered degrading to the environment.

The drones will collect information, conduct inspections for prevention, and support investigations of environmental crimes, the New Times newspaper reported on Monday.

“The drones will help to respond to and control activities that damage our environment including land degradation, water pollution, and illegal logging in protected areas,” Rwanda’s environment minister Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya was quoted as saying.

Among the activities the government seeks to fight are illegal mining, water pollution, illegal logging as well as the encroachment of protected areas such as parks and riverbanks.

“We thank the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) who joined us in the fight against environmental degradation where they conducted sensitisation campaigns on environmental crimes, identified victims of those environmental crimes, offenders and opened case files for prosecution,” Ms Mujawamariya said.

Rwanda seeks to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

The country has a long-term Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy and an ambitious climate action plan to reduce emissions by 38 per cent by 2030.

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