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Thailand's 'seed bombing' initiative uses planes to plant trees and crops from above

Seed bombing

(NaturalNews) Technology originally developed for military purposes is being transformed and put to peaceful use toward fighting the effects of deforestation in Thailand.

Aerial reforestation, or seed bombing, is based on systems designed for the precision planting of landmines from the sky using bomber planes, which are adapted for planting saplings or seeds instead.

The basic concept of seed bombing has been around for nearly a century, but has been been gaining more attention in recent years, particularly since Lockheed Martin Aerospace acted on a novel idea originally proposed by a former RAF pilot.

Lockheed's Peter Simmons stated:

"Equipment we developed for precision planting of fields of landmines can be adapted easily for planting trees. There are 2,500 C-130 transport aircraft in 70 countries, so the delivery system for planting forests is widely available – mostly mothballed in military hangers waiting for someone to hire them. The possibilities are amazing. We can fly at 1,000ft at 130 knots planting more than 3,000 cones a minute in a pattern across the landscape – just as we did with landmines, but in this case each cone contains a sapling. That's 125,000 trees for each sortie and 900,000 trees in a day."

How seed bombing works

There are several ways the concept can be applied - one method involves placing single saplings in biodegradable metal cones that bury themselves in the soil when dropped from a plane.

Another simpler method - the one being used in Thailand - involves mixing seed with soil in "seed balls" that can be dropped from planes and scattered throughout a designated area.

The five-year Thailand initiative was created to replant deforested areas with local tree varieties:

The Royal Thai Air Force loaded the seed bombs into a plane and dropped them over 5,000 rai of a wildlife sanctuary in Phitsanulok province.

From BeforeItsNews.com:

"On Wednesday the Royal Thai Air Force loaded the seed bombs into a plane and dropped them over 5,000 rai of a wildlife sanctuary in Phitsanulok province, the Bangkok Post reported. Seeds from local plants including phayungs, maka mongs and kaboks have been dropped with the aim of regenerating the area and transforming it into a healthy, green forest by 2017."

Seed bombing could be a valuable weapon in fighting widespread deforestation throughout the world. Old military planes in danger of ending up as scrap could be repurposed to help in countering the immense amounts of forest being decimated each year, but drones may end up playing an important role as well.

From WakeUp-World.com:

"In Oxford, England, strides are also being made in the aerial reforestation arena. BioCarbon Engineering has brought drone technology into the forefront of regenerating forests. Founded by ex-NASA engineer Lauren Fletcher, the company has introduced game-changing technology into the realm of ecosystem restoration. Using drones, areas can be mapped beforehand, then tree cones are planted on an industrial scale. Most importantly, the technique utilizes optimum planting technology to increase uptake rates of the trees."

The cost of deforestation

More than 6.5 billion trees are lost each year and more than 100 plant, insect and animal species disappear every day.

From Collective-Evolution.com:

"We are raping the Earth, with swaths the size of Panama being lost each and every year. At the current rate of deforestation, the world's rain forests could be completely gone within the next one hundred years, and that's not a very long time at all. According to the National Geographic, seventy percent of Earth's land animals and plants live in forests. We've destroyed millions of acres of forest in the last century, mostly due to human activity."

Seed bombing may represent one of our best hopes for restoring some of what has already been lost, but we must remember that it takes many years to replace what can be wiped out in a single day. The long-term solution lies in combining reforestation efforts with the even more important goal of protecting existing forests throughout the world.


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