Vodafone has announced new plans to attach specialist sensors to trees in order to measure tree growth and understand the role that they can play in mitigating climate change.
The partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Forest Research will pilot the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor tree growth and the impacts that environmental change is having on the UK’s forests.
Data will be collected and transmitted to Defra and Forest Research where advanced analytics will then assess the impact of temperature, humidity and soil moisture on tree growth and function.
By measuring tree growth it will enable scientists to estimate the contribution of trees to climate change mitigation as a result of their ability to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere.
Defra and Forest Research will then use the results to inform policymakers and the public of how the changing environment impacts tree growth and the huge benefits that trees can provide by storing carbon.
Anne Sheehan, director at Vodafone Business UK, said: ‘Tackling climate change requires radical thinking and our forests will be vital to this. Our IoT technology enables us to connect trees and monitor performance, which is a perfect example of how technology can be used in new ways to help create a more sustainable future.’
Malcolm McKee, chief technology officer at Defra added: ‘Trees are a unique natural resource that play a crucial role in combating the biodiversity and climate crises we face.
‘This exciting partnership uses newly-emerging IoT technologies to improve our understanding of the impacts of environmental change on our nation’s forests, which will help inform our policymaking. The new technology provides better quality data and importantly, allows us to monitor places that current technologies cannot reach.’
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