How the Start-up Climate Change Foundation uses AWS cloud computing

over the past eighteen months, Landforms, a global startup in the field of forest restoration, has launched 13 reforestation projects in 10 countries. The Hawaii-based company has launched projects from Armenia to Ghana and Ecuador to India. Granular data will become one of the most powerful tools in reforestation and carbon reduction as logging, farming and property development have removed trees and vegetation. Terraformation and its partners have planted more than 350,000 new plants and trees. It has planned to plant another 1.6 million over the next few years.

Topography analyses, banks, replanting of seeds and cuttings covering the full range of floral species in a given forest area. As new forests take hold, additional analysis builds a complete picture of what species and, in what concentrations, create the most potent and longest-lasting mixtures of greenery. To regrow plants, Terraformation uses a variety of different AWS cloud computing tools, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) And the AWS Secrets Manager.

“We want to be able to accurately capture and track projects around the world at every stage — from seed collection to planting to measuring trees for carbon,” said Dr. Marian Chow, head of Terraformation’s seed bank effort. “In the beginning, this will give us a quantifiable understanding of our reforestation progress — how much globally we’ve really planted, how much has survived, and how much biodiversity our new forests are. Later, we can translate this data into insights that can make projects Forests are more successful.”

A big area of ​​focus will be improving supply chains to monitor progress and gaps in the reforestation process, including identifying and collecting seeds, storing those seeds safely, and growing seedlings to prepare for planting. Knowing which seeds are most likely to produce viable seedlings or what specific species to plant in a particular area makes the forest more resilient, Zhao said. Constant updates about each step in the growth plan ensures that each geographic area has enough plant species ready for planting at the right time. More timely data is key. The biggest challenge for Terraformation is figuring out how to obtain detailed, verifiable information in a sustainable way that can be done in areas where access to technology and internet connectivity is limited.

Photo of a Terraformation employee planting a sapling tree in a field.

Much of the terrain work happens away from the computer. Seeds are harvested using wire cutters or telescopic poles and stored in light mesh bags so that they do not rot. Seeds are often evaluated in the field by slicing them in half with a pocket knife. Once inside, the seeds are kept in climate-controlled environments and monitored by sensors that send data to the cloud capturing not only temperature and humidity, but also the health of the seeds. Terraformation has developed a mobile app to document every stage from forest to greenhouse and back again. Zhao said the company takes guidance from local residents regarding best practices.

“We love working with partners in Indigenous communities who apply local expertise and traditional knowledge of how seeds are collected and stored, while incorporating more modern technology, including things like sensors, to expand their work,” she said.

Recently, Terraformation launched an accelerator to scale up afforestation projects, and Seed to Carbon Forest Accelerator. The company is recruiting for its first batch of foresters now, closing applications November 27th. The program will provide early-stage funding and training to help participants implement large-scale reforestation projects. Group funders, including companies with net-zero goals, will receive a portion of the carbon credits these teams produce.

To find out more, you can watch an episode of Now go to buildAmazon Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Werner Vogels visited Terraformation and learned how it achieved its goal of planting 1 trillion trees with the help of solar-powered desalination, a seed bank, and cloud-based technologies.

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