An American company has earnestly begun planning to replant deforested areas using drones. The company plans to plant a billion trees per year remotely.
In their effort to remedy the ill-effects of massive levels of deforestation, U.S-based organization, BioCarbon Engineering has decided it will begin planting a billion saplings using remotely-operated drones. Led by ex-NASA engineer, Lauren Fletcher, the team was devastated at how rapidly the trees are being cut down and realized right away that people just couldn’t replant the forest at an equal pace, commented Fletcher,
“Why not use technology to combat technology? We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation.”
The current rate of reforestation is less than half that of mechanized deforestation. At such a dismal pace, the earth will eventually be devoid of trees. The world’s jungles, bush-lands and forests are being rapidly destroyed within weeks, continued Fletcher.
“Destruction of global forests from lumber, mining, agriculture, and urban expansion destroys 26 billion trees each year. We believe that this industrial scale deforestation is best combated using the latest automation technologies.”
What he meant was hand-planting is not going to cut it. BioCarbon Engineering’s team plans to fly drones over potential planting areas and drop biodegradable plastic pods filled with pre-germinated seeds and highly nutritious soil down into the ground. Not all pods will successfully land, but those that do will be regularly and remotely watered and monitored, once again by the drones. These drones will also report back to the base about their saplings, their health and growth patterns year-round.
The data acquired remotely through these drones should prove useful to improve the success rate of planting more plants in the future and ensure their survival. What the team didn’t add, but could be an added advantage of using the drones is remote surveillance on illegal logging and other deforestation tactics employed by illegal timber-traders.
The team has worked out the economics and feasibility of the ambitious and eco-friendly project. As opposed to a few dozen hand-planted trees, drones can plant about 36,000 trees per day at a cost of just 15 percent of that spent on traditional reforestation techniques.
[Image Credit | BioCarbon Engineering]