Technology has long been at odds with its role as a major contributor to climate change. However, a significant initiative harnesses the power of technology to reverse the environmental damage that has occurred since the beginning of the Industrial Age.
In Myanmar, an unprecedented project was launched in September 2018 to launch “seed missiles” using drones in remote areas with limited tree growth. The surprising result: within less than a year, these seed rockets grew into 20-inch mangrove plants, demonstrating the technology’s potential to provide innovative solutions under the pressure of the climate crisis.
Irina Fedorenko is the co-founder of BioCarbon EngineeringExpressed enthusiasm for the progress made: “We now have a confirmed case for the species we can plant and the conditions suitable for their growth. We are ready to scale up our planting efforts and replicate this success.”
400,000 trees a day
According to Fedorenko, just two operators can deploy a fleet of seed-planting drones capable of planting more than 400,000 trees per day. This remarkable scale of deforestation has the potential to make significant progress in combating the adverse effects of human-induced climate change.
The drone responsible for this was developed by a former NASA engineer. With an urgent need to reforest an area in Myanmar equal to the size of Rhode Island, the challenge is significant but now appears achievable. World Impact founder and CEO Bremley Lyngdoh explained that re-seeding that area could potentially accommodate 1 billion new trees.
Lyngdoh said, “Clearly without the help of drones planting a billion trees would be a long process.” But with a powerful ally by their side, things turned around – in comparison, it took the Worldview Foundation 7 years to plant 6 million trees in Myanmar; Using drones, they aim to plant an additional 4 million trees by the end of 2019.
help fight climate change
Myanmar serves as an ideal case study for this project. In addition to providing land available for drone initiatives, the country has been hit hard by the early effects of climate change in recent years. Rising sea levels have already affected the population. In addition to their ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, flowering trees can help stabilize soil, reducing the problems of soil erosion that have plagued local communities in Myanmar.
Looking ahead, technologies such as seed-planting drones could help turn the tide of catastrophic climate change as governments and societies focus on changing the behavior of consumers and businesses that are causing the problem. Our insatiable appetite for new technology may have contributed to climate change and deforestation, but it may also be the solution to these challenges.
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