1st Mar 2022 12:03:AM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

For a state, as vast; having large swathes of inaccessible terrain, carrying out plantation or reforestation is a herculean task if not next to impossible. Therefore, the introduction of drone-based technology to carry out plantations by the state’s department of environment, forests & climate change is indeed a novel and smart move.
Introduced as a pilot project, during the first experimental phase, 200 hectares of degraded land under Doimara Reserve Forest in Khellong Forest Division, Bhalukpong will be planted using 2 lakh seed balls dropped from the “Seedcopter” over a fifteen day period.
The drone-based plantation is a new and innovative way of planting seeds in difficult terrain where reach is limited and slope gradient is high. The technology includes creating seed balls from a mixture of clay and manure having seed at the core of it. The seed ball provides the necessary moisture and nutrients required for the germination of seeds. These seed balls dropped from drones at specific intervals reach the ground and germinate gradually after a few days.
Arunachal’s wealth is its lush forest cover. However, it is under tremendous threat and the state has consistently lost forest cover due to diversion of forest land for developmental purposes and also natural impact such as landslides and floods. The India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021, found that Arunachal Pradesh has witnessed a loss of 257 sq km of forest cover compared to the 2019 assessment with the total forest coverage of 66,430.67 sq km (79.33% of the total geographical area). 
Balancing such losses is crucial. By greening large swathes of denuded land, equilibrium can be restored.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) commonly known as a drone have been deployed successfully in agriculture operations and for delivery of vaccines etc; and equally so drone technology in fighting deforestation has been gaining momentum. Through drone-seeding, attempts are being made to make areas green and turn inaccessible areas into forests.
A UK-based company is a pioneer in fighting deforestation using drones. BioCarbon Engineering has developed techniques for fast precision planting and entire ecosystem restoration. As Founder & CEO Lauren Fletcher, a former NASA engineer says “there are some times when planting by hand is absolutely the right approach. But, in other instances, drones can be a very effective tool for the right location at the right time.”

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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