Seed-planting drones to help reforest Kras
Parts of Kras, the windswept region that extends from western Slovenia into Italy, were devastated in the massive wildfires in 2022, but now seed-planting drones will be deployed to boost reforestation efforts. This will be the first time this technique is used in Slovenia.
"We have chosen this method because of the hard-to-access terrain, the rocky ground and so that we do not have to send people to an area where there may still be the remnants of the First World War," Forestry Service head Gregor Danev said on 13 December.
If the drones prove to be effective, the forestry authorities will deploy the technology more widely given that extensive reforestation will be needed in the coming years due to various natural disasters.
Even before the roadmap to reforest Kras was drawn up, the Forestry Service invited several organisations, including researchers, to join forces with them in the pursuit of new reforestation solutions.
Drones to drop seed pod balls to help the Kras region recuperate after the 2022 wildfires. Photo: Bor Slana/STA
Among the organisations that heeded the call is Projekt O2 from Croatia, which is dedicated to seed-planting by drones. Its representatives will manage the Kras reforestation project.
"This effort is particularly important for us because, after three years of work, it is the first time we are working outside our country," Projekt O2's Goran Ladišić said.
For the production of the seed balls that will be used in the project, the Forestry Service provided suitable seeds of the field maple, the Montpellier maple and the linden tree of Slovenian origin as well as a suitable, verified substrate.
Following a major wildfire in the summer of 2022, a total of 300 hectares of forest have been restored in Kras so far by planting seeds and 40 hectares by planting saplings.