A LANDMARK initiative to plant one million trees in Ecuador is really taking off – thanks to the use of drone technology.  

The 1 Million Trees for Ecuador Project aims to reforest more than 900 hectares with species native and endemic to the South American nation. 

A specially-prepared drone is central to the scheme. Featuring the capacity to sow 1,500 seeds in 15 minutes at a lower cost than manual sowing, it will be used to spread seeds. 

However, organisers have emphasised the drone will not replace the planting of seedlings by volunteers and students. 

The project is being led by the Pontifica Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), while it is sponsored by Diners Club, UNACEM and the Embassy of China. 

Rector of the PUCE, Fernando Ponce de León, added that the device “tracks how much the plants germinate and how much progress they make”, ensuring the success of these efforts as an active contribution towards a future of regenerated forests in Ecuador.