The importance of forests to all our lives cannot be underestimated. We depend on them for countless things, from the air we breathe to the many material goods we use, such as lumber and paper. Besides these, forests provide habitats for countless species, prevent soil erosion, and importantly are a natural carbon sink essential for the stabilizing of greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many communities also rediscovered the health and well-being benefits of having access to forests.
We must safeguard our forests
All of this is under threat. Globally, forests are experiencing high-intensity wildfires, rapid urbanization, the spread of invasive species, and epidemics of pests and diseases. In just the past week, a European heatwave saw wildfires in Spain, France, Slovenia, and Greece. In the aftermath, forest restoration and management will present a host of challenges and demand rapid investment. This is where disruptive technologies can enter the equation and improve the state of our forests.
An operating system for landscape restoration
One US-based start-up, Vibrant Planet, addresses these challenges through the launch of its comprehensive platform, Land Tender. The cloud-based platform speeds up the implementation of forest management targets. It assists in forest treatment planning, the monitoring of landscapes, decision making, reporting, and fund allocation.
All of this is done using AI-driven insights, real-time data, and simulated scenarios looking up to 30 years into the future. The use of cloud computing also enables all team members and stakeholders to work on the same platform at once and have complete visibility of project data, modelling, and objectives. This accelerates management decisions and records the continuous progress of restoration projects.
Technology for good
In June 2022, the start-up raised $17 million in a seed round of funding and plans to expand its platform to Europe, Western US, and other forests worldwide that are at risk. Vibrant Planet represents one company using technology for good and with actionable steps, in this case, facilitating the modernization of the traditional forest planning processes.
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