UK startup, BioCarbon Engineering, has developed a system of drones that can plant 100,000 trees a day to help save the environment.
BCE uses drones to plant trees by shooting biodegradable seedpods into the ground or scattering them in the air. The seedpods are filled with a germinated seed, nutrients, and other vital components. These penetrate the earth, and, activated by moisture, grow into healthy trees.
Every year, 15 billion trees are destroyed from natural and anthropogenic causes. Despite US$50 billion a year spent on replanting, there remains an annual net loss of 6 billion trees. Governments around the world have made commitments to restore 350 million hectares of degraded land -equivalent to an area the size of India, which could accommodate around 300 billion trees – by 2030.
BCE created the tree-planting drones to help meet this target. BCE said: “Meeting this target with existing methods alone is impossible. Currently, ecosystem restoration is mostly done by direct hand-planting, which is accurate but extremely time consuming. Aerial planting via helicopters is effective over large areas but results in much lower survival rates.”
The BCE system uses satellite and drone-collected data to determine the best location to plant each tree.
Two operators equipped with 10 drones can plant 400,000 trees per day. This technology provides a new tool enabling global enterprises and governments to meet their restoration commitments. BCE’s technology also goes beyond trees to plant other flora native to an ecosystem.