At the end of September, to kick off our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), they came and visited several of our planting sites in Spain accompanied by members of the Land Life Company team.
The board is full to the brim of expertise in the reforestation and degraded ecosystems fields, and they oversee practices and support our projects, ensuring that we follow the highest scientific standards. The SAB advises us at Land Life Company on scientific and technological matters, and also review and give advice on how to do even better on our projects. With this in mind, it was an utter delight to be able to show them what we have been up to in Spain, and other parts of the world and hear what they had to say about it.
Members of the LLC team met the SAB at our planting site Matamorisca for a site tour on day one of the SAB’s visit. So, what happens when you put a bunch of professors with a vast and detailed knowledge of the science around tree planting? Every single tree gets a stop for a story, question or discussion! An estimated 100 meters was covered in an hour and a half, but immensely valuable and detailed discussions were had.
After visiting the site and demonstrating how we use a scientific-based approach to optimize our planting projects, we went for lunch in Cervera de Pisuerga at a very small local place. For dessert, we all got a traditional treat: a big pile of hazels and two pieces of wood on the table to start smashing the hazelnuts and get the hazels out. This did result in a few painful fingers! Santi was the absolute master of cracking the hazels in the most elegant way.
Following this excitement, we had over five hours of interactive presentations and discussions, in which we presented them with more information on Land Life Company’s mission and values. After which they were presented with the developments in our Research and Development department and our carbon capture prediction technique, the FastTrack Model.
The SAB gave us valuable input and feedback on our site methodology and more technical reforestation techniques. As two of the SAB members hold expertise in forest modeling, there was a great discussion regarding technical details of the aforementioned carbon model FastTrack. The SAB recommended that we focus the next FastTrack improvements on improving the accuracy of the modeling of mortality and also provided input and tips regarding our carbon modeling efforts in Ghana and Spain. Luckily, in Spain, it is normal to have dinner at 10 pm at night. After dinner, we all stepped on the terras, which has a stunning view overlooking the mountains and lake, heard the burling deer, tooting owls and a wolf and saw the Milkyway.
The next day there were two site visits, to Traspeña & La Peña. At Traspeña, the SAB was shown the EC Flux system, and looked at the site from an operational perspective with members of our Spanish team explaining how our ops team works there. Finally, for a more general visit to La Peña, our LLC team and the SAB talked through the technical plan of the project and the planting design. It was really valuable and interesting to be able to meet the SAB in person, and have discussions on the scientific side of our work both formally and informally. Getting to know each other produced even more enthusiasm and we were really grateful they took the time to share their expertise.
The next steps for our work with the SAB will be to specify topics for them to review and advise us on. There is a lot of ground to cover, and we look forward to more input from them. Additionally, we can’t wait for the next opportunity to meet in person again as it was great fun to meet everyone and we learned and shared a lot.