A UK based company, BioCarbon engineering and the drone company, Parrot, made drones that can plant trees over the forests. Environmentalists claim that the loss of green belts is due to farming and human settlements. Therefore, for an industrial paced deforestation, we need a similar paced afforestation measures.
Hand or manual planting is the most time taking and expensive process. Also, it is difficult to reach inaccessible terrain on foot. Hence, a drone can easily reach to the remote places and cover a wide even area with least effort and time.
With precision farming on the rise, a need for precision forestry also arises. Another company DroneSeed in Oregon does the same with the herbicides and fertilizers to ensure positive growth in the areas where seed growth gets tricky.
How do these tree planting drones work?
Firstly, they scan the topography while they hover over the terrain. Then they make a 3D map of the area. This helps them to recognize and design the most efficient planting pattern. Then the drones fire germinated seed pods to the ground at the speed of 1/sec.
Therefore, they can plant up to 100,000 trees/day and if 60 drones are used at a time, then around 1 billion trees/year.
The process is almost 10 times faster and 20% of the cost in the manual planting techniques, which includes personnel, transportation, and supplies. These drones can simply hover over the area, recognize the best planting scheme and plant the trees. The startup has successfully tested the procedure on abandoned coal-mine areas in UK and Australia.
The project has strong potential in tending to the need of preserving the ecosystem. The world is losing around 75000-100,000 square miles of the forest area every year. That is almost the size of losing 49 football fields per minute.
Our planet highly depends on these green belts for millions of sustenance mechanisms. Therefore it is our responsibility to give back what we take from it.