Annually, we are cutting down around 15 billion trees a year and replanting only about 9 billion, creating an yearly net loss of 6 billion trees.
Planting trees by hand can be not only expensive and time-consuming but also not possible to make up for the trees cut down by industrial machinery each year. To put it into perspective, a bulldozers can clear-cut over 40 football fields of trees every minute.
In the past, we have had some impressive efforts from people planting millions of trees in a short period of time. Recently, in India over 1.5 million people planted more than 66 million trees in only 12 hours! Impressive right!?
Indeed is, however, such large-scale events require organization and logistics that sometimes is difficult to control or do on regular basis.
Fortunately, a former NASA engineer has come up with a perfect solution developing drones that can plant over 100,000 trees per day each.
When multiplying this number by only 165 drones we could easily manage the 6-billion-tree deficit we face each year.
Designed by the U.K. startup BioCarbon Engineering, the drones are far more efficient than humans at planting trees for various reasons such as:
1. They are a lot faster. Being able to plant one tree every second, they are ten times faster than humans.
2. They are cheaper to run and operate. According to the World Economic Forum, drones can do the job at about 20 per cent of the cost of human labor.
3. They can access and plant areas where humans can not. Because of their light and efficient design, these drones can plant in inaccessible areas with no steep or roads.
4. They might be more seed efficient than when planted than humans. When people do planting, it’s hard to predict how many will actually be successful and grow into trees.
Using a high-tech date, such as surface composition surface topology, soil type, and moisture in the area, the drones are able to calculate and avoid planting in places where the seeds would be doomed from the start.
Drone planting is conducted in two phases:
Firstly, the terrain is scanned by a drone which creates a precise 3-D map of the area, which is then used by The BioCarbon Engineering team to develop a unique planting pattern.
After that, the second drone executes the assigned plan, firing germinated seed pods at the perfect speed and location to get them under the soil. The drones are capable of planting a variety of species native to the area.
CEO Lauren Fletcher says “industrial-scale reforestation,” as he likes to call it, maybe the only answer for industrial-scale deforestation.
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