Planet Beyond Podcast

Mangroves, drones, and data

PB32 Podcast - Mangrove restoration using wooden drones carried out by Distant Imagery


29 Feb 2024

We need to manage our coast lines to reduce the impact of climate change. But coastal areas, and mangroves in particular, also offer one of the most effective nature based mechanisms for capturing carbon. At COP28 in the UAE last November, the importance of the oceans to climate change was a key focus, and the parties at the conference recognised the value of nature based solutions.

Our guests for this episode were both at COP28. Jane Glavan is the co-founder of Distant Imagery. The company combines cutting edge technologies with locally available techniques and materials, to develop drones, balloons and kites that can be used to bring us closer to Net Zero. In Abu Dhabi, their drones are reforesting mangrove swamps, propelling thousands of seedlings into the ground, in every eight-minute drone flight.

This is a long-term project. Mangroves can take decades to reach maturity. Distant Imagery need more access to data to track, refine, and share their approach. That has been Fugro’s focus. David Millar shared the importance of the UN Ocean Decade Corporate Data Group, which we first looked at in a February 2023 shortcast. The group is working to make available ocean data from some of the world’s most important private-sector collectors, and share it with potential users, such as Distant Imagery


Jon Baston-Pitt, Fugro


Jane Glavan, Co-Founder, Distant Imagery 

David Millar, Government Accounts Director, Americas, Fugro 

Photo credit: Distant Imagery

Sea Auk activities on the WaveWalker1 working on windfarm Hollandse Kust Noord

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