Tree-planting drones could help restore world’s forests

Image credit: Biocarbon Engineering

This report is talking about coastal mangrove forests in particular. The target is over a billion new trees, but it’s claimed two operators with ten drones could plant 400,000 trees a day.

British engineers have created a seed-planting drone which could help restore the world’s forests, reports the London Evening Standard.

Biocarbon Engineering, a start-up based in Oxford, designed the drones to fire seed missiles across fields, planting hundreds of potential trees in a matter of minutes.

In September 2018, the drones were deployed in a field just south of Yangon, Myanmar.

The seeds they sowed have since grown into tiny mangrove saplings, about 20-inches tall.

Irnia Federenko, co-founder of Biocarbon Engineering, told Fast Company: “We now have a case confirmed of what species we can plant and in what conditions.

“We are now ready to scale up our planting and replicate this success.”

Around half of the world’s mangrove forests have been lost. The trees, which grow along coastlines, can store more carbon than trees on land.

Mangrove deforestation is responsible for 24 million tons of CO2 emissions each year, according to a 2018 study.

Biocarbon Engineering is collaborating on the project with Myanmar non-profit the Worldview International Foundation, which has been planting trees by hand across the country since 2012.

The Foundation works with local villagers, who have helped plant more than six million trees in the past seven years. But human-only methods are time-consuming, and the non-profit has turned to the Oxford engineers for help.

“Obviously, planting a billion trees will take a long time without the help of drones,” Bremley Lyngdoh, a partner on the project, told Fast Company.

Roughly 350,000 hectares of coastal forest need to be restored, which translates to more than a billion trees.

Ten drones, operated by two operators, can plant 400,000 trees a day.

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

April 13, 2019 at 02:01PM

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