A new company, BioCarbon Engineering, is aiming to use drones to reverse deforestation. The drones will be used to map out suitable deforested areas, before effortlessly dispersing the seedlings.
The company has estimated that with the technology, they can plant up to one billion trees per year.
Founder of BioCarbon Engineering, Lauren Fletcher said “We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation,”
“Together with tree seeds, we hope to seed in other species including micro-organisms and fungi to improve the soil quality and ensure long-term sustainability of our efforts,” she added.
The video below, describes how the project intends to meet its goals.
In short, the drones will first be sent to gather detailed terrain data to generate 3D maps; these maps will also help determine which areas are best suited for planting. Another drone will then follow a predetermined path, and drop biodegradable seedling pods from a height of 1-2 meters. On impact the pods, which are filled with seedlings and a protective layer of nutrient rich gel, will split allowing the seedlings to grow unhindered.
“The only way we’re going to take on these age-old problems is with techniques that weren’t available to us before. By using this approach we can meet the scale of the problem out there,” Fletcher said.
Today’s reforestation efforts are not only considerably time consuming, they also require a large workforce of manual laborers, which in itself is very costly. This project could offer a more productive, and successful, alternative which could aid the world’s forests more effectively and expeditiously.