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Study shows major gaps in ACP drones legislation

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A new study by CTA, Drone governance: study of policies, laws and regulations governing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in ACP countries, shows major gaps in legislation governing the use of drones in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The use of UAVs or drones in the management of crops, livestock, fisheries, forests and other natural resource-based activities represents a new technological frontier and opens up a range of exciting opportunities. However, to realise the full potential of the technology while ensuring the safety and privacy of people, two things are necessary: enabling regulatory regimes and increasing awareness of the rules and regulations surrounding civil use of UAVs.

Although the European Commission recently supported the establishment of an online repository of information concerning regulations issued by all European countries, there is no equivalent database on existing and forthcoming policies, laws and regulations governing the use of UAVs in ACP countries.

CTA is working to facilitate the responsible use of UAVs and related software applications to improve the effective management of crops, fishing grounds and other resource-based activities. To that end, the Centre commissioned this study to determine the existence of policies, rules and regulations governing the use of UAVs in all 79 ACP countries. The results are quite telling: as of April 2016, 73% of ACP countries did not have any rules or regulations in place; 19% had some regulations in place; and 8% were in the process of formulating them.

CTA hopes that this database will help to increase awareness of the rules and regulations surrounding UAV use, promote responsible use of UAVs and help to fully realise their potential in the management of crops, fisheries and other resources.

The data gathered in the course of the study have been published on a site hosted by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) and are accessible on www.droneregulations.info, which allows online collaboration.

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