Ogun, a state in southwestern Nigeria, has announced plans to start using drones as part of security measures to protect its forests.

Kolawole Lawal, the Commissioner for Forestry, announced the plans to journalists, explaining that the plan was part of efforts by the ministry to checkmate the activities of illegal loggers towards sustaining the forests in the state.

The benefits of drones is that they can be placed in strategic areas across the reserves to capture pictures and ensure 24 hours video recordings of activities being undertaken in even the most remote areas, protecting foresters from armed illegal loggers and reducing the cost of patrolling the forest.

This is just the latest move in an increasing trend for using drones in forestry. U.S. built DroneSeed provides precision forestry services that include tree spraying, tree seeding and growth monitoring.

They claim that, although forest restoration is a £48 billion industry, tree-planting techniques have not changed in a century. The manual planting of seeds by a team is slow and expensive.

“The only reason forestry didn’t automate sooner was the terrain and precision required. Drones are the obvious technology to overcome terrain issues with flight,” said Grant Canary, CEO of DroneSeed.

The company is currently focused on spraying vegetation, but they are also looking at moving into the restoration of wildfire-affected areas.

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