As environmentalism becomes a more pressing issue in the mind of many people, there is a growing realization that planting trees and reforesting the world is one of the best ways in fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity. However planting trees would normally take a lot of work by many people, and a long time. However thanks to technological innovations, all of this has the potential to be sped up and made to scale easier.
Recent, impressive achievements are coming from the Biocarbon Engineering’s Tree-Planting Drones.
This startup that uses drones to plant trees and grasses at abandoned mines in Australia and on sites in other parts of the world, is working with a nonprofit in Myanmar called Worldview International Foundation.
“Obviously, planting a billion trees will take a long time without the help of drones,” says Bremley Lyngdoh. He is the founder and CEO of Worldview Impact, a separate nonprofit partner with the Worldview International Foundation working in Myanmar.
Amazingly, two operators working with 10 drones can theoretically plant 400,000 trees in a day.
Biocarbon Engineering is now talking with brands that want to sponsor tree planting, so that when consumers make a purchase, a tree is planted. The drones could share data about specific trees with consumers.
Ultimately, drones could help support much more massive tree planting, which would have a significant impact on climate change: researchers recently calculated that there is enough room to plant another 1.2 trillion trees, which could suck up more carbon each year than humans emit.
Another example is the call for 1m people to join UK’s biggest mass tree-planting campaign. Volunteers are being urged to do their bit to stop the climate emergency by grabbing a spade and signing up for the biggest mass tree-planting campaign in the UK’s history.
People without gardens or the means to plant their own trees are being encouraged to spot potential sites and ask their local council or the landowner for permission to plant.
By 2025, the Woodland Trust – the charity behind the Big Climate Fightback – hopes to have planted a tree for every person in the country. According to the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s statutory advisers on the climate crisis, the UK should have 1.5bn new trees by 2050 to meet the net zero carbon target, set in line with international scientific warnings on the climate crisis.
The government has set a target of 5,000 hectares a year for England alone, but planting rates have fallen well short of that, with last year only 1,420 hectares of new woodland planted.
Trees will also need to be cared for after planting to ensure they survive, so groups are encouraged to participate beyond the planting stage.