Can Drones Solve Our Yearly Net Loss of 6 Billion Trees?

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Can Drones Solve Our Yearly Net Loss of 6 Billion Trees?

At this point, everyone (except maybe our President Donald Trump) recognizes the dangers of global warming; we are already feeling the early consequences. What many people don’t know is that deforestation accounts for 17% of the world’s carbon emissions. Dr. Susan Graham, an Australian engineer, believes she can combat this yearly net loss of 6 billion trees using specialized drone technology. Dr. Graham co-founded BioCarbon Engineering and together with her team they are developing a drone that plants at “10 times the rate of hand planning and at 20 per cent of the cost”.

An Australian engineer has revealed a plan to combat deforestation by developing drones capable of planting one billion trees every year.

Susan Graham revealed on Sunday that she had developed a drone capable of scanning the land for ideal places to grow trees then launch seeds into the soil, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to UN data, deforestation accounts for 17 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, more than the transportation industry. More than 15 billion trees are lost to the world every year as civilisation continues to expand.

Graham said the drone can plant trees in previously inaccessible places, such as the side of steep hills. “Although we plant about 9 billion trees every year, that leaves a net loss of 6 billion trees,” Graham told the media. “The rate of replanting is just too slow.”

BioCarbon Engineering, the team she is working with, consists of researchers from around the world who have developed the drone that plants at “10 times the rate of hand planning and at 20 per cent of the cost”.

Drone to Save Earth by Planting 1 Billion Trees Every Year

About Dr. Susan Graham

Dr. Susan Graham is an alumna of the University of Sydney. While studying at the University she conducted research at the Royal North Shore Hospital, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), and Cochlear. She was awarded Young Student Engineer of the Year in Sydney in 2008 by Engineers Australia and then received a Clarendon Scholarship to complete her PhD at Oxford in biomedical engineering. Her PhD work in developing a targeted nanoparticle drug release system activated by ultrasound has been spun out into a company called OxSonics. Based out of Oxford, it is currently moving towards clinical trials.

Dr. Graham is currently a co-founder in an early stage company, BioCarbon Engineering Ltd, which is using drones to plant trees with a target of 1 billion trees each year.

About BioCarbon Engineering

BioCarbon Engineering‘s scalable solution leverages off emerging remote sensing and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technologies to enable automated, industrial scale reforestation. The system works in three stages to significantly increase the planting rate (10x) while simultaneously driving down the cost (15% of current planting costs).

By | 2017-06-26T19:18:17+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Drone Technology, Drones, New Drones|Comments Off on Can Drones Solve Our Yearly Net Loss of 6 Billion Trees?

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Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at