Manna from heaven

Restoring ecosystems from above.

Why did Dr Bremley Lyngdoh look to the skies to save Myanmar’s mangrove forests? Yee-Liu Williams finds out.

When Bremley Lyngdoh attended the Vatican in October 2017, it was as a winner of the inaugural BridgeBuilder Challenge, inspired by Pope Francis’s challenge to youth leaders to build bridges. As an 18-year-old, dreaming of aviating the skies and exploring outer space, he joined the air cadets flying with the Delhi No 1 Air Squadron of the Indian Air Force. Now 44, his life has been more down to earth, but he still looks to the skies, using drones and planetary technology to ‘heal the soil for the farmers on earth’.

The BridgeBuilder Challenge awards $1 million a year in prize money for ideas with global impact. Bremley’s proposal to use tree-planting drones to restore mangrove forests and protect livelihoods in Myanmar won a grant of $250K. The bid was a strategic partnership between Worldview Impact Foundation (WIF) in London and BioCarbon Engineering (BCE) based in Oxford. Bremley and Dr Irina Fedorenko, of BioCarbon Engineering, are part of a team organising the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security at the Caux Forum 2019.

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