In the heart of La Chiquitania, Bolivia, the Firehawk Project took flight with a vision — a vision to harness technology and empower communities to take charge of their future. What started as a pilot project to showcase the potential of accessible information has ignited a spark that promises a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow. In this blog post, we delve into the journey of Firehawk, its mission, the incredible contributions from partners like Wingtra and PIX4Dcloud, and the unwavering support of the Municipality of Roboré, the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua, Autoridad Fiscalizadora de Bosques y Tierras (ABT), and Servicio Nacional de Aerofotogrametria (SNA), and the dedicated assistance and crucial funding from WeRobotics.
Firehawk: More Than Just a Name
The name “Firehawk” was not chosen lightly. It encapsulates the spirit of the project — a majestic raptor, soaring high, with a vigilant eye for danger. Just as hawks scan the landscape for threats, Firehawk watches over the forests of La Chiquitania, protecting them from the scourge of wildfires. It represents vigilant guardianship and the promise of a safer, sustainable future.
The project aims to utilize drones for mapping and monitoring forest area, thus providing the necessary information to identify high-risk zones susceptible to fires. The gathered data is then shared with local authorities and stakeholders, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding fire prevention and response strategies. This project was part of WeRobotics’ Turning Data Into Action program, and was an important step towards preserving La Chiquitania’s precious ecosystem and protecting the communities that rely on it.
The Pilot Project
The Firehawk Project began as a pilot, an experiment to demonstrate the incredible information that could be harnessed and shared. Central to its success was the invaluable contribution from our partners. Wingtra’s generous donation of the WingtraOne Gen II drone opened up a world of possibilities. This state-of-the-art drone provided us with the wings we needed to survey and document the Chiquitania region with unparalleled precision.
But the hardware was only part of the equation. PIX4Dcloud stepped in with its powerful software, enabling us to process, analyze, and transform the data captured by the drone into easily accessible information. With PIX4Dcloud, we could create 2D and 3D models that enhanced collaboration and, most importantly, made the data accessible to all.
The Power of Accessible Information
In the fight against forest fires and environmental challenges, accessible technology and information are not mere luxuries; they are lifelines. Firehawk demonstrates that to tackle complex issues, we need to democratize access to technology. The local communities, those who know the land and its risks best, must be at the forefront. It is our duty to provide them with the tools they need to act swiftly, to protect their environment, and to secure their future.
Expert analysis underscores the crucial role of access to technology and information. In the case of Firehawk, it meant the ability to identify high-risk areas, to plan coordinated firefighting efforts, and to share critical information with local authorities. It meant putting the power to protect in the hands of those who call La Chiquitania home.
The Road Ahead
Firehawk is just the beginning. It’s a glimpse of what’s possible, an invitation for others to join us on this transformative journey. Accessible technology and information can revolutionize the way we tackle environmental challenges, and the key to success lies in the involvement of everyone, especially the locals.
The future of Firehawk is a future where everyone, no matter where they are, can access vital information on their smartphones. It’s a future where collaboration is not limited by borders, and where sustainable practices become a way of life.
The Firehawk Webinar
To share the journey of the Firehawk Project so far, Bolivia Flying Labs organized a webinar where we dived deeper into the vision, the results, and how we can all play a role in creating a more sustainable and secure future. The webinar took place on 1st November 2023 at 1:00 pm GMT and featured René Salomón, the Bolivia Flying Labs director, and Erika Lopez, the Bolivia Flying Labs Coordinator as the key speakers.
We invite you to watch the webinar recording and join us in becoming the stewards our planet needs. The Firehawk Project is not just a project; it’s a vision for a sustainable future, which starts with accessible technology and information.