Tree-Planting Drones to Revitalize Reforestation Efforts in Areas Affected by Wildfires

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 13, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Our forests are a vital part of our wildlife and communities, with tree planting at the forefront of reforestation efforts. The Government of Canada is investing in revitalizing our forest ecosystems — including by planting two billion trees. As part of this initiative, communities and industries from coast to coast to coast are raising saplings, planting trees and bringing innovative technologies to the table.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems, such as drones, are used in various sectors across our economy, from delivery methods to search and rescue operations. Now, they are making their mark in Canada’s forest sector.

Today, Peter Fonseca, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East—Cooksville, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a contribution of over $1.3 million to Flash Forest, a company that uses drone technology for tree planting. A total of over one million trees are set to be planted by Flash Forest over the next two years.

Using new technology in an effort to innovate and improve tree-planting initiatives in Canada, Flash Forest uses drones, advanced seed pods, automation and machine learning to plant in some of the most severe forest fire sites across Canada.

The sites will be monitored for germination success and to obtain survival data on the success of using drones for planting instead of traditional tree-planting methods. The project will use rapid drone deployment technology using AI, biological seed pods and robotic process automation to improve germination and the survival of temperate and boreal tree species in Canada.

Once seed pods are planted, forest growth will be monitored over consecutive seasons. The reforestation method employed by Flash Forest, which aims to plant at least 10 times faster than traditional methods and significantly cut costs, allows for rapid post-wildfire response within months of the fire, higher biodiversity and data-driven ecosystem restoration.

The federal contribution is made through the 2 Billion Trees program (2BT), which supports tree-planting projects with the aim of planting two billion trees over 10 years and helps to advance the nature-based solutions needed to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Quotes

“The challenges presented to us by climate change and biodiversity loss are urgent. That’s why the Government of Canada is working with Flash Forest to deploy tree-planting and monitoring drones at sites across Canada. By using drones, we can plant more swiftly, efficiently and effectively, making it easier to grow our forests, clean our air, support important habitats for wildlife and restore valuable ecosystems.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources

“Today we announced an investment of $1.3 million in Mississauga’s Flash Forest for their innovative drone-based tree-planting strategy. The planting of trees in remote forests and following forest fires is a critical part of ensuring that Canada’s forests remain vibrant and healthy for generations to come.”

Peter Fonseca

Member of Parliament for Mississauga East—Cooksville

“We know that healthy forests support biodiversity, clean the air and create beautiful natural spaces for our communities to enjoy here in Mississauga—Erin Mills and everywhere. That’s why I’m proud to be at University of Toronto Mississauga as our government announces a contribution of $1.3 million to Flash Forest through the 2 Billion Trees program. These are the types of innovative climate solutions we need to continue protecting our ecosystems and achieve our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Iqra Khalid

Member of Parliament for Mississauga—Erin Mills

“Flash Forest is honoured to be working with the Government of Canada on an initiative as imperative as the 2 Billion Trees program. After seeing first-hand the impact of wildfire on our Canadian landscapes, we’ve never been more motivated to get trees in the ground faster. This partnership will allow us to double down on our aerial reforestation efforts and ensure Canadian forests remain an integral part of the global fight against climate change.”

Bryce Jones

CEO, Flash Forest

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

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