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  • Carsten Brinkschulte

South Pole and Dryad join forces to tackle forest fires and unlock new carbon finance opportunities

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Berlin, Germany – 26 January, 2022South Pole, an award-winning project developer, has partnered with Dryad Networks, an impact tech startup with an ultra-early wildfire detection solution for forest owners, to help forest owners better protect forests and gain access to carbon finance.

The two firms will work together to explore how Dryad Networks’ Silvanet IoT sensor network – a sophisticated wildfire detection solution – can be used to reduce the frequency of fires in forestry projects that help reduce or avoid carbon emissions. Silvanet’s sensitive ‘digital noses’ connect to a large-scale IoT network to ‘sniff out’ wildfires in under 60 minutes, when they are still at the smoldering stage, giving firefighters enough time to extinguish the fire before it spreads. By connecting third-party sensors to the Silvanet network, forest managers can also follow the health and growth of their forest by, for example, monitoring the carbon sequestration of trees over time.

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO and co-founder of Dryad Networks, said: “Wildfires impact forest owners’ bottom lines and account for up to 20% of annual CO2 emissions globally. Preventing wildfires with technology will not only help in the fight against climate change, but also increase transparency and accountability with verifiable data from sensor networks in the forest. Our partnership with South Pole will bring greater revenue-generating opportunities for forest-based, voluntary carbon projects.”

Using South Pole’s 15 years of experience as a carbon project developer, the partners will assess how the Silvanet solution can create new pathways for forest owners to access carbon finance. Where these fire-risk mitigating activities are measurable and significant enough to allow for an emission avoidance project to be certified under internationally-recognised standards, for example, forest owners deploying Dryad’s large-scale IoT solution may be able to access revenue via the generation and sale of carbon credits. Additionally, the two partners will explore whether Dryad’s Silvanet solution could potentially improve the financial returns of existing carbon projects by reducing the amount of “buffer credits”—the portion of carbon credits withheld from the market to hedge against events that would threaten the permanence of the project’s emission reductions – while also protecting their estates from wildfires.

South Pole’s expert team will help Dryad to work with forest owners to register and certify carbon projects under the world's leading voluntary carbon standards. Dryad will also evaluate how the Silvanet IoT sensor could, via additional sensors, support the monitoring and automatic reporting of other forest datasets relevant to carbon quantification – from the amount of sequestered CO2 in forest stands to remotely sensing tree growth.

Wouter Crul, Head of Digital Innovation at South Pole added: “At South Pole, we are continuously looking for opportunities to improve monitoring and implement early warning systems. The sensor-based approach introduced by Silvanet is a promising answer to a key driver for deforestation – one that has been on the rise due to long dry spells and other extreme weather conditions. Together with Dryad, we hope to provide forest owners with better means to access carbon finance, all while minimizing the damage caused by wildfires to large-scale forestry projects. We also see our partnership as a potential way to increase transparency in nature-based solutions and strengthen trust in voluntary carbon markets.”

According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, 59,000 unplanned wildfires burned more than 10 million acres across the U.S. in 2020, up from 4.7m acres in 2019. Wildfires threaten the core value of carbon projects and fire-risk can increase the amount of ‘buffer credits’ which these projects need to set aside, reducing project revenues. Technological innovation will be key in improving the development and management of carbon projects, and unlocking new carbon finance opportunities for forest owners – especially as the demand for high-quality carbon credits continues to grow among businesses with ambitious climate targets.


Media contacts

Bumblebee PR for Dryad Networks

Lindsey Lee

+ 44(0)7766 447897

South Pole

Isabel Hagbrink, Director of Communications

About Dryad Networks

Dryad is an environmental IoT startup based in Berlin-Brandenburg. Its mission is to develop a large-scale IoT network that allows public and private forest owners to monitor, analyze and protect the world’s largest, most remote forests. The first solution, Silvanet, launched in July 2021 and is focused on the ultra-early detection of wildfires. Dryad received seed funding of €1.8m, secured additional €1.6m in grants and low-interest loans from ProFIT Brandenburg to develop Silvanet, and is now looking for Series A funding. The firm’s goal is to save one million hectares of forest from burning by 2030, avoiding 400m tonnes of CO2 emissions, saving millions of wildlife, and preventing substantial economic losses.

About South Pole

South Pole, a social enterprise recognised by the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation, is the world's leading climate solutions provider and carbon project developer. Since its creation in 2006, it has developed nearly 1,000 projects in over 50 countries to reduce over one gigaton of CO2 emissions, and to provide social benefits to less privileged communities who are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Projects range from sustainable agriculture, forest conservation, waste management, to energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy. With its global Climate Solutions platform, South Pole develops and implements comprehensive strategies that turn climate action into long-term business opportunities for companies, governments and organizations around the world.

South Pole is committed to becoming a B Corp globally across all of its local entities, building on its existing B Corp certification in Australia and the U.S.

Find out more at or connect with South Pole on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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