A triple-impact company founded by a former forestry worker has developed an innovative system that combines science and technology to grow trees and native species in deforested areas.
The project is based on the use of drones, microbially treated seed pods, satellite imagery and data analysis to restore forests and grasslands on a large scale to reduce the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
This is Reforest Latam, a startup founded at the end of last year by Damián Rivadeneira and the industrial engineer Paula Gianserra, together with a team of scientists and technologists. Its business model is based on providing services to companies, NGOs and governments to meet their commitments to restore ecosystems based on science and technology.
Science and technology to regenerate nature
“Our technology combined with the wisdom of nature creates a unique synergy. In the laboratory we grow “I-Seeds”, which are capsules containing native seeds treated with microorganisms, to which we then add fungi to improve the growing conditions. These seeds are distributed by drones in hard-to-reach areas.“Explains Rivadeneira, who previously worked for a timber company that specialized in removing tree debris and branches left on the ground after deforestation, much faster than with traditional technology.
Rivadeneira compared: “In one day, with the help of 400 volunteers, 3.5 hectares can be planted and drones can regenerate 20 hectares of forest“. “Additionally, we use satellite imagery to measure ecosystem growth in terms of biomass and assess carbon sequestration so that the project can be funded with carbon credits.“, he emphasizes.
The first pilot test of the system was carried out on 40 hectares of the Sierra San Javier Park, owned by the National University of Tucumán, Argentina. “This year 44,000 trees will be planted here and next year we plan to plant 1.2 million trees, typical of this Yungas area“, explained Rivadeneira. “We test science and technology together with researchers and rangers from Conicet at control stations, on different species and at different altitudes.“, reported Gianserra.
To carry out a project, the company has strategic partners such as (for the R&D laboratory); Efficatia, an AgTech specializing in the technological diffusion of drones; the Forestar Foundation, which has a nursery for native species, the National University of Tucumán and the international platform Restor, dedicated to the measurement, evaluation and certification of biomass carbon capture.
The startup’s strategic team was completed by Patricia Serrizuela, former director of Endeavor, as an advisor; the engineer and forest biologist Ignasio Gasparry as scientific director of the project, the biotechnologist and life sciences doctor Milena Bertani, head of the research and development laboratory. Your mission is “Restore one million hectares in Latin America by 2030“.
“We believe that ecosystem restoration is one of the most effective solutions to combat the climate and environmental crisis we are experiencing. This not only contributes to carbon sequestration, but also contributes to the protection of biodiversity, the provision of ecosystem services, the creation of green jobs and the sustainable development of local communities.s,” Rivadeneira concluded.
Reforest Latam’s services include:
- Assessment of the current situation of the ecosystem: The company carries out an analysis of the state of the ecosystem to be restored to determine the plant and animal species to be planted.
- Project design: The company develops a recovery plan that includes the plant and animal species to be planted, the number of plants to be planted, the distribution of the plants, and the work plan.
- Project implementation: The company uses drones and seed bombs to plant crops in the area to be restored.
- Project monitoring: The company monitors the project to ensure that the plants grow and thrive.
- Project evaluation: The company evaluates the success of the project by measuring the number of surviving plants and the impact of the project on the ecosystem.
With information from: