Dryad's Silvanet Nominated for Protect and Restore Nature Earthshot Prize
Dryad Networks' revolutionary approach to detecting wildfires and monitoring the health of forests has been nominated for the Earthshot 2023 Prize in the 'Protect and Restore Nature' category.
Launched by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and the Royal Foundation in 2020, the
Earthshot Prize is considered the most prestigious global environment prize in history. It is designed to
incentivise change and help repair our planet over the next ten years.
The prize has five categories in which finalists will be chosen: Protect and Restore Nature, Clean Our Air, Revive Our Oceans, Build a Waste-Free World, and Fix Our Climate. Dryad was nominated by Purpose Driven Innovation Ecosystem (PDIE Group), an organization building a global ecosystem for game-changers co-creating a better tomorrow.
What is Silvanet and why has it been nominated?
Silvanet is an end-to-end solution that provides ultra-early forest fire detection as well as health and growth monitoring solutions for public and private forests. This is done using a wireless environmental sensor network based on LoRaWAN: the leading open-standard for long-range radio IoT networks.
Wildfires account for fully one fifth of global CO2 emissions and are getting worse in terms of both frequency and severity due to climate change. It's clear that tackling wildfires more effectively is therefore mission critical.
What sets Dryad's Silvanet apart is its detection speed. Legacy approaches to wildfire detection tend to be ocular-based, for example cameras, satellites and watch towers. It has been apparent for some time that while these approaches are not without merit, they can be found wanting when it comes to detection speed.
The ability to detect fires earlier, while they are still easy to extinguish, drastically reduces CO2 emissions by stopping them spreading out of control. Dryad's Silvanet solution deploys a mesh network of solar-powered sensors in the forest itself, meaning it can detect fires within sixty minutes, more often than not while they are still in their smoldering phase.
Wide-scale implementation of early detection technologies such as Silvanet could be groundbreaking and prevent the emission of hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 as well as saving millions of hectares of vital forest. A deployment of 120 million wildfire sensors worldwide by 2030 cumulatively could save up to 3.9m hectares of forest from burning and prevent 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Protect and Restore Nature
One of five 'Earthshots', the Protect and Restore Nature Prize's mission statement reads:
By 2030, we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing – not shrinking – on our planet.
It goes to mention forest environments specifically: "Forests and natural land are vital to human health and happiness, helping to prevent global warming and producing oxygen that we breathe. We must act now to protect our future." It's easy to see how Dryad's Silvanet struck a chord in this category.
Last year's winner in the Protect and Restore Nature category was Kheyti Farmers, an Indian startup with a pioneering greenhouse-in-a-box concept designed for small-hold farmers.
Dryad recently released a whitepaper titled What Lies Beneath: the hidden truth about wildfire, a comprehensive report on the often overlooked deleterious impacts of wildfires worldwide. It also considers recent technological advancements in the fight against wildfires.