Global forests are under increasing pressure from over-production of lumber, strip-surface mining, and increased land usage for agriculture and urban expansion. Every year 8 million hectares of forest, equivalent to 7 billion trees, disappear around the world. Destruction of these critical ecosystems is occurring at a faster rate than restoration, because traditional planting techniques are too slow, too labor intensive, and too expensive. Susan Graham, a UK based engineer, believes she and her team at BioCarbon Engineering have found a solution that will help to reverse the damage humanity has done to the world’s forests. The team is using emerging technologies to plant 1 billion trees a year using unmanned quad-copters, remote sensing mapping, and high-velocity, aerial planting systems.
Updates (March, 2017)
- Received a 100K euro investment from a French based drone company in December 2015
- The company has grown, including hiring with 9 full-time staff including engineers focused on drones and biologists; expanding to include 30 species of trees.
- Current focus is on mining restoration – because the regulations are in place to enforce restoration and have funds already set aside as part of contracts for ecosystem restoration
- Current planting capacity is 10,000 trees per day
- Goal of next grant- continue to increase customer pipeline and planting capacity to 100,000 trees per day over next 18 months