In his recent blog post, Forest Reboot – How data can restore our planet, Land Life Company CTO Arnout Asjes explains how the reforestation company is harnessing the power of data and technology to restore degraded land and create new carbon sinks.
In a series of interviews, key members of his tech team explain their roles and how data and technology help them innovate the reforestation value chain. First up is Harrie Lövenstein, Head of R&D at Land Life Company.
I trained as an agronomist (an expert in the science of soil management and crop production) mainly interested in dryland farming. In particular, I worked on runoff agroforestry in semi-arid environments, a great match for our Company mission to reforest the world’s 2 billion hectares of degraded land. Through my work, I get to put into practice the theories I have studied and developed over the years and experiment to take them to the next level.
In broad terms, my mission is to create a holistic reforestation model getting trees established and growing with as little water as possible in a variety of environmental conditions, particularly those in drylands. The ultimate goal is to improve the hydrological balance of these fragile lands, key to ecosystem services. Core to this is developing our Cocoon tree incubator to become a ‘climate buffer’. By making the Cocoon more robust we can compensate for the erratic nature of climate. This provides us with the potential to extend planting windows, have more flexibility when to land, water and labour, and drive down the cost for every surviving tree.
Currently, I am particularly focused on developing new nature-based techniques to make dryland reforestation easier to apply on a larger scale.
I am constantly amazed by the resilience of nature. For example, I have seen tree seedlings thrive when planted using Cocoons in abandoned quarries when there is hardly any soil. I have also had the pleasure of meeting many weird and wonderful animals when I am out in the field.
Having the opportunity to do a fair bit of travelling at Land Life, I very much enjoy the different cultures, I encounter. In addition, walking through nature in those many exciting places are both relaxing and inspiring to coming up with new ideas. It is like a puzzle and a rewarding puzzle at that. Sometimes I work things out in the strangest places.
Learn more about our data-driven approach to reforestation HERE
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