Climate change and biodiversity loss are the biggest dead ends that humanity runs into when it comes to environmental preservation. Luckily, modern technology offers solutions for breaking the wall that separates us from a sustainable future where we learn to secure the Earth’s natural systems. One of the biggest roles in reaching this goal is played by reforestation. Forests absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen through photosynthesis, provide a home to numerous species, and store water. All of this makes them the best allies when battling both climate change and biodiversity loss.
But to ensure success, we need not only to preserve existing forests but also replant trees when necessary to ensure it’s enough for making positive change. That is why we have gathered top technological innovations that are of great help in this matter.
Technology for Reforestation Monitoring & Management
Reforestation can be necessary after illegal deforestation, harvesting, wildfires, etc. In all cases, it’s critical to keep track of all these events to manage them faster and easier. Here is how technology helps with this.
Remote sensing enables Earth observation from above, thanks to satellites. Monitoring reforestation via satellite imagery allows for analysis of any progress and timely identification of issues. There are plenty of online platforms that offer access to both free and paid satellite images for further analysis. Some tools are designed specifically for satellite images on-the-fly analysis for different purposes.
For instance, with the LandViewer solution by EOSDA, it’s easy to identify areas with an unhealthy canopy in young forests to take action and save trees before it’s too late. Besides, comparing satellite images for a period of time, you can easily and remotely detect the change, which is helpful in evaluating forest loss.
Drones are nothing new to the agricultural industry. So why not use them in forestry? In terms of reforestation, drones are a great tool for efficient tree planting. Here is an example of how this works. Drones basically bombard the ground with biodegradable seedpods that dissolve over time, leaving the tree seeds to grow in the earth below. This is especially helpful in designated areas where this process would’ve taken way more time and effort.
Inventory Management Systems
When reforesting, it is also critical to track the progress of existing forests and afforestation initiatives. This is where tree inventory management systems come into play. They can be used to create a detailed index of planted trees and store the important data, including the size, species, location, growing patterns, peculiarities, etc. Overall, such inventory systems enable enhanced strategic planning when it comes to forestry management.
Personal Carbon Offsets
Modern technology also offers people the possibility to personally contribute to global decarbonization initiatives via using a simple app. Such apps usually run on blockchain technology and enable users to donate money towards reforestation in exchange for carbon offsets. The main purpose of such tools is not just to draw investments for reforestation but also to motivate people to counterbalance their carbon dioxide footprint.
One of the hardest parts of reforestation is taking care of young and thus vulnerable tree seedlings in the first years after planting. The issue is that these require sufficient light, water, and protection while growing roots that would be strong enough to help the seedlings withstand weather changes.
To solve this problem, different startups develop biodegradable small factor-form sanctuaries, frames, cocoons, and carts that foster at least half-autonomous maintenance of young trees. This means that those trees will get all the necessary protection in the initial years of growth. Not only this helps to protect the newly-planted trees but also leads to cost-saving on water, fertilizers, pesticides, and labor.
But do we need all this technology for reforestation? Why is it so important? The answer is that forests’ impact on the planet goes far beyond air purification. Trees are the support for different ecosystems, plants, and animals that are necessary to ensure balance in nature. And since forests are home to 90% of all the Earth’s species, they are inseparable from medical research and further pharmaceutical breakthroughs. Apart from this, reforestation can be a driving force in battling poverty by providing people an opportunity to earn money for their tree planting efforts. That is why reforestation is so important to support. Luckily, new developments in technology are here to contribute.