Agritech, AI / Machine Learning, DecarbonisationAirSeed have developed the specialism and technology to scale environmental restoration using seed-planting drones
Asia and Oceania
Agritech, AI / Machine Learning, Decarbonisation
The environmental and human risks incurred through deforestation and biodiversity loss cannot be overstated. The continual destruction of natural ecosystems is accelerating climate change, decreasing food and water security, and endangering human health and natural assets. Deforestation or conversion of land for agriculture use is a key direct human driver of biodiversity loss. Indirect human impact is felt through the effects of climate change, for example, increased frequency of forest fires.
AirSeed has developed specialised planting drones that use patented Seed Pods to restore diverse natural ecosystems, ranging from arid zones to rainforests. AirSeed projects begin with an ecological survey to develop a planting plan that incorporates native species. Next, Seed Pods are prepared for planting; AirSeed’s proprietary biotechnology ensures each Seed Pod is soil and species specific, incorporating the right mix of nutrients and minerals to aid seedling growth. AirSeed’s drones then autonomously fly routes determined using machine learning and to precision plant Seed Pods in locations recorded using GPS. The use of these specialised drones facilitates access to large areas of land, which may be remote or hazardous, and the GPS logging allows AirSeed to monitor the restoration progress.
AirSeed reports that, in a single day, two people can plant 40,000 seeds, making their process 25 times faster and 80% more cost effective than manual planting methods. Their goal is to be planting 100 million seeds a year by 2024. This scale up will require strong state support. Australia, where AirSeed is based, suffers increasingly frequent intense climate events, such as fires and floods, that destroy vast areas of vegetation home to unique and near-extinction species. Australia is therefore the ideal location to test and scale AirSeed’s technology, but deforestation and biodiversity loss are global issues. Following commitments at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference to conserve forests and restore biodiversity, governments will need to increase adoption of nature based climate mitigation solutions. NGOs and corporate entities are also expected to invest in this endeavour.
This year will see AirSeed Technologies move from test phase to large scale deployment through a number of new planting projects commencing with commercial and government partners.
Governments, NGOs, and corporations responsible for or interested in sustainable biodiversity restoration to combat climate change.