The tech company BioCarbon Engineering has developed tree-planting drones in order to make forest restoration quicker, more efficient, and more convenient. With the help of these robots, it’s possible to rehabilitate hard-to-reach areas, and they can ensure that a large number of trees are planted at once.
While there are many volunteers willing to help rehabilitate our forests, programs that plant trees usually take a lot of time. Tree-lovers have to travel, dig adequate-sized holes, plant each tree, and make sure they’re properly covered and protected. The drones will make the projects more impersonal, but they will help speed up the process.
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The drones don’t simply shoot seeds into the ground—making them amazing tools for forest rehabilitation. They fly over trees to map the area, collect data on the soil conditions, and analyze the topography to determine the best places to plant the seeds. Once all this is determined, the drones fire biodegradable seed pods into the ground, and each pod is filled with the nutrients the seeds need to grow well. Given proper conditions and an absence of external factors like floods that can wash the seeds away, the baby trees are set to grow as much as they can.
In Myanmar, conservationists are hoping to use this technology to improve their current tree-planting programs. Over the last seven years, Worldview has been able to plant over six million trees, which is a huge achievement already. However, with the help of the drones, they could plant another four million by the end of the year. Given that 1.3 million square kilometres of forest area were lost between 1990 and 2016, we should be using any means possible to help the planet recover. Most of the trees were lost through human activities or natural disasters like forest fires.
Happy to announce our partnership with @GreeningAust to work on restoration of the world’s most precious ecosystems down under. #australia #drones #dronesforgood #SDGs #landscapes #reefaid #regen pic.twitter.com/zOXDdlGOkB— BioCarbon (@BioCarbonEng) May 8, 2018
Even though the drones make conservation efforts easier, we shouldn’t stop volunteering to plant trees. The technology can help with large projects, and we can focus on smaller-scale programs that need more care and attention; rarer or more sensitive species might need more attention than others. With these drones flying above our forests, we can have hope that any area can be rehabilitated.