Feb 15, 2018 | BY Frida Ongre
Starboard Blue headed to Myanmar to catch up on all things environmental. On the agenda was Mangroves, drone planting, marine litter and a special meeting with head of UN Envrionment. Here is a recap of what went down.
The Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park, where Starboard is involved with mangrove reforestation, is planning to up its efficiency in tree planting by introducing drones to the process. This new and advanced technology maps out an area and shoots seeds into the ground at a rate of less than 6 seconds per three.
Planting mangroves is labor-intensive work; so to have this technology available would mean that the climate park can massively upscale its work. The company behind the drones, BioCarbon Engineering, aims to be able to plant 1 billion trees per year using their technology.
Starboard´s Blue Team was invited to attend the official showcasing of the drone planting technology, so we headed over to Myanmar to catch up with our pioneering partners at the climate park and to meet the drone team and see them in action at the National Races Village in Yangon.
The gathering was quite spectacular as Chief of Yangon, Phyo Min Thein, and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment, Erik Solheim, attended the meeting. Starboard’s Chief Innovator, Svein Rasmussen, was asked to give a speech on how we are tackling issues like marine litter. As strong advocates for the ocean, Starboard is working hard on many different projects to make sure we leave this planet a better place than we found it.
It was an honor to have our work acknowledged by the chief of UNEP, and Solheim showed support on some of our upcoming projects. Starboard is, together with an awesome crew from Protect Blue, working on a 1-year curriculum of eco-education for schools. We also introduced our Blue Life platform, which we are soon announcing together with our partners from ACT, LYKKE and WIF.
As we had the chance to sit down with the head of Yangon and UNEP, Svein Rasmussen used this opportunity to propose some immediate actions we need to see in Myanmar. The effects of climate change are very visible in the country, which is sensitive to cyclones and other catastrophes. Every year hundreds of lives are lost in Myanmar due to flooding. Drains are often blocked with single-use plastic bags. That’s why we suggested a plastic bag fee, a bottle deposit scheme and a total ban of straws.
The highlight of the conference was when our Chief Innovator presented the bio-bag from Avani to show that there are alternatives for single-use plastic bags. The bag was turned into tea to prove its biodegradability, and Solheim, Min Thein and all those curious had a sip of the bag.
Myanmar’s Trash Hero pioneer, Phone Kyaw Moe Myint, joined the meeting with Solheim to talk about the important work Trash Hero does. He then invited us to his sailing club for some SUP fun. There is no better way to end a day talking about climate change and our oceans, than on the actual water.