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Tree-Tracking Chips

The Green Action Institute is Preventing Deforestation with RFIDs

— November 6, 2011 — Eco
Radio frequency identifiers (RFIDs) have been used to track product proliferation, lost pets and the progress of secure cargo, but now the Green Action Institute is hoping to prevent the illegal deforestation that has thus far plagued Mato Grosso, Brazil.

The Amazon is the source of most of the world's exotic timber, yet simultaneously is responsible for maintaining the temperatures of two oceans, so it's imperative to temper the destruction of the tropical rainforest with long-term goals of sustainability. To that end, the Green Action Institute has installed thumb-sized RFID chips into over 2,500 trees. Each electronic tag includes unique data about the trunk's age, species, location and carbon sequestration. The information is accessible through remote devices like iPhones, and even lets you know which company or government agency is responsible for the region of the forest. If ever a tree is demolished before it reaches maturity or before authorization is provided (which happens all too often), the Green Action Institute can ensure the responsible parties meet justice.
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