More than 92 percent of all nurseries catering for villages are still located at regional and district levels. As a result, seedlings have to be transported long distances, sometimes even beyond 50 km. The inadequacy of transport is one of the major setbacks in tree-planting, in terms of both availability and cost. All efforts must be made to decentralize nurseries as much as conditions allow.
To bridge this energy supply-demand gap, a massive amount of tree-planting is needed. The natural forest is shrinking very fast, and most alternative energy sources have had no significant impact so far.
One of the main reasons tree-planting is failing among some African communities is that they are often given species only for firewood, like eucalyptus.
Weak village leadership contributes directly to delays over deciding whether to plant trees or not; and then, even if trees are planted, it can retard or neglect maintenance.
THE NEXT STEP: ORCHARDS AND BIOCHAR
Each woman farmer and their family will begin the task of preparing to plant 300 fruit and nut trees on their leased 1.5 acre farms, Every tree will need a 2- 3 feet diameter excavation, where a biochar earth mound will be built of branches.
EARTH MOUND KILN
The earth mound kiln is built in the following manner:
The bottom of the base is covered with logs forming a grate or crib on which the wood is piled vertically. The grate forms a free space between the bottom and the wood charge through which the air necessary for the carbonization process passes. The piled wood is covered with leaves and grass and then earth about 20 cm (8”) thick.
The pile has an outside stack made of steel drums, which is connected to the pile through a flue cut into the ground, running under the pile and covered with round logs. The pile has a number of air vents located around the circular base.
The carbonization process is started by introducing a torch into the firing flue opposite the stack. This type of pile is reported to be easy to operate to produce good charcoal quality with a yield of 55% charcoal to wood by volume. The pile’s volume varies from 100 to 250 m³ of wood. The whole cycle takes 24 days; four days for charging, six days for carbonization, ten days for cooling and four days for discharge.
Preventing deforestation is our best chance to conserve wildlife and defend the rights of forest communities. It’s one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to curb global warming.
Worldwide, two billion hectares of land are currently degraded – an area larger than South America. Of this, 500 million hectares are abandoned agricultural land.
The amount of under-utilized and degraded land available in the region to accommodate for future agricultural expansion is estimated at 0.7-1 million hectares.
TheSuitability Mapperenables users to identify potentially suitable sites for sustainable palm oil production in the following area:
How do we prevent further deforestation?
It is still economically valuable to clear the forest for plantations. As current agricultural land becomes more and more degraded, producers move on to pristine, more productive land, with often harmful consequences such as the loss of forest cover.
If we’re going to stop deforestation, we need governments to do their part. That starts with cracking down on corruption and ensuring fair enforcement of forest conservation rules. Corruption fuels illegal logging and unsustainable forest management.
The seriousness of carbon emissions and the resulting impacts of those emissions are starting to have a strong effect on our global environment. From the melting of glacial systems around the world to the increasing intensity of storms and droughts, never has humanity faced a greater challenge than what lies before us today. One only has to observe the historic CO2 levels over the last 800,000 years and compare those numbers to where we are today at 400 ppm to get a clear picture. We need mitigation of emissions.
ONE SMALL STEP
Replacing “three stone” stoves with pyrolytic stoves provides a health dividend equal the eradication of malaria & AIDs combined. Mitigation of the emissions is the primary aim of these innovative cook stoves.
THE COOK STOVE
* About 30% biochar production * 3 to 4 days for a batch of charcoal production * Continuous hot water access (pot 1) * Highly suitable for institutional cooking and as well making biochar * Additional heat generated by flaring the pyrolysis gases, used for cooking * Mitigation of the emissions during the pyrolysis by flaring * Costs about Rs. 3000 (US$45)
Mwoto TLUD Cookstove is made of sheet metal: fabricated by skilled tinsmiths. Price approx. US$20 (Kenya: $22). The primary air control permits significant turn-down of fire intensity. (Mwoto Factories Ltd., Kampala)
The Progress Ahead Dr TLUD estimates that only about 20% of what can be known about TLUD gasifiers has been discovered. 80% awaits our efforts. By 2020 there needs to be 30 million TLUD micro-gasifier istoves into the developing societies. Currently there are fewer than one million.www.Mwotostove.com
This is a good example of Mitigation of Emissions:
Sustainable biochar is a powerfully simple tool to fight global warming.This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and discourage deforestation. Sustainable biochar is one of the few technologies that are relatively inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable.
Farmers in Brazil have long known about the “black earth,” or terra preta, found over vast areas of the Amazon. In the last decade or two archaeologists have begun to realise that the terra preta was not a naturally occurring phenomenon, but had been cultivated over centuries, if not millennia. They turned some of the wood into charcoal and then worked it back into the soil, creating an unusually rich and fertile ground.
Traditionally, people have used biochar and ash in their fields. This practice exists all over the world. There is a need to recognize the value and create awareness on biochar. Farmers know that wherever biomass is burnt in the field’s crop grows stronger, healthier and better.
In East Africa, sugarcane and maize waste is normally burned in the field, as it has no other value. In-field burning returns approximately 2-5% of the original carbon to the soiland a negligible amount of NPK. It does little to improve soil, and is considered a major source of particulate and soot emissions in the region.
Burning without oxygen can also mean burning without smoke, which leads to the idea of replacing home heating and cooking stoves with pyrolizing kilns that provide the same functions but are clean-burning, inexpensive and easy to use, and instead of generating smoke and ash.
Biochar is essentially charcoal, but burnt at a lower temperature and with a more restricted flow of oxygen; it has the potential to end the slash-and-burn cycle in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to researcher Bruno Glaser at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, a hectare of meter-deep terra preta can hold 250 tons of carbon, as opposed to 100 tons of carbon in unimproved soils.
THAT MEANS THAT THERE IS A POTENTIAL OF 150 TONS OF CARBON CAPTURE/ HA POSSIBLE. (THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FORESTATION ON THE SAME HECTARE)
In addition, the bio-char itself increases soil fertility, which allows farmers to grow more plants, which allows more bio-char to be added to the soil. Johannes Lehman, author of Amazonian Dark Earths, claims that combining bio-char and bio-fuels could draw down 9.5 billion tons per year, or 35 Gt CO2 per year equal to all our current fossil fuel emissions.
This is the simplest and convenient method for farmers to convert the crop residue / biomass in the farm lands into biochar trenches. All the biochar, burnt soil remains within the field could be conveniently spread by the farmer within the whole field.
It is more convenient to make such trenches after ploughing the field. Trenches perpendicular to the slopes also benefit the steep sloppy areas as water harvesting means. The entire crop residue otherwise burnt openly can be collected and dumped into these trenches lengthwise. More biomass can be added during the process. Once the trench is filled with biomass and compact, it should be covered by grass, weeds, broad leaves, etc. After covering it up, soil should be spread on the trench, a lengthy mound is created. Some water could be used to make the soil compact and for sealing the mound of biomass. A small hole is left open for lighting the biomass at one end and at the other end a very small opening is left open. Once it is lit, white smoke starts emitting at the other end. The result is a smoking mound over the trenches.
When it smokes too much or when it cracks, too much oxygen is getting in. You must plastered more mud and earth over that part until the leak was stopped. You must keep an eye on the smoke, in order to stop the burn when it changed color. You can stop it by covering it with more earth to entirely cut off the oxygen.
The trenches are 2 to 3 feet depth and 1.5 to 2 feet width. Small holes are to be made in a biochar along the length of the trench at every 10 to 15 feet in a biochar trench. After 24 hours the biomass is converted into biochar. Any little smoke or embers should be quenched with water or covered with soil while removing the biochar from the trench.
The alternative is to burn the biomass openly, which causes pollution and very little carbon is formed.
Over the three year study period, t was observed that the chances of seeds germination are 20% to 30% higher in the soils with biochar compared to control soils. All soil properties except pH showed significant changes. In both biochar amended and control soils, salt, manganese, and potash content showed consistent increases while phosphate content decreased. Additional phosphate fertilizer may be needed. Organic phosphorus fertilizers come primarily from mineral sources, like rock dust or from bone sources such as steamed bone meal or fish bone meal.
Cacao plants planted into soil rich in biochar started producing fruits half the normal time. Plants seem to be supported for longer and there is less yellowing of leaves.
More productive African farms could help both people and emissions.
Boosting the efficiency of Africa’s productive lands is not only necessary for feeding larger populations, but also a possible means of reducing emissions.
An article in the Economist, “World climate talks address agriculture” identifies the problem.
SINCE the 1960s farm production has risen fourfold in Africa. But the continent still lags far behind the gains seen in South America and Asia. The extra food has appeared largely because more land has been planted or grazed, rather than because crop yields have improved. Instead, poor farming methods progressively deplete nutrients from soils; almost all arable land in Africa lacks irrigation, for example. This is a particular problem in a continent whose population is set to double by 2050 and which faces regular droughts, floods and heat waves.
The world is already 1°C warmer than it was in pre-industrial times. As it heats further, weather cycles are set to speed up, leaving wet parts of the world wetter and dry parts drier. At either end of the scale, extreme weather events will probably intensify. By 2050, even if temperature rise is successfully limited to 2°C, crop yields could slump by a fifth.
The costs of climate change already come each year to 1.5% of the continent’s GDP, according to the European Commission, and adapting to it will cost another 3% each year until 2030. This is in spite of the fact that, overall, Africa is responsible for just 4% of global emissions annually.
Soil: potential carbon sinks
Fertilizer is extremely important. We cannot feed people if soil is degraded. The production of fertilizer in a form of biochar is absolutely huge which help to absorb carbon in the soils.
Soil in a long-term experiment appears red when depleted of carbon (left) and dark brown when carbon content is high (right).
Scientists say that more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined; there are 2,500 billion tons of carbon in soil, compared with 800 billion tons in the atmosphere and 560 billion tons in plant and animal life.
Well-nourished soils are better at absorbing carbon dioxide rather than allowing it to enter the atmosphere. But the continent’s over-grazed, over-used soil currently means Africa only stores 175 gigatons of carbon each year of the 1,500 gigatons stored in the world’s soils. Smarter farming could change all that. The world’s cultivated soils have lost between 50 and 70 percent of their original carbon stock, much of which has oxidized upon exposure to air to become CO2.
If we treat soil carbon as a renewable resource, we can change the dynamics. Restoring soils of degraded and desertified ecosystems has the potential to store in world soils an additional 1 billion to 3 billion tons of carbon annually, equivalent to roughly 3.5 billion to 11 billion tons of CO2 emissions. (Annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning are roughly 32 billion tons.)
Soil carbon sequestration needs to be part of the picture. Currently deforestation takes place where vast areas are cleared for new fields because too little grows in existing ones.
Vast areas of deforested land that have been abandoned after soil degradation are excellent candidates for replanting and reforestation using biochar from the weeds now growing there. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, grasslands, which cover more than a quarter of the world’s land, hold 20 percent of the world’s soil carbon stock. Much of this land is degraded.
The biochar solution for small farms involves branches of fruit trees, which are cut every year to facilitate the harvest, weigh about 50 tons/ha. If this biomass is converted by pyrolysis to biochar, about 1/3 will revert to 16.7 tons of black carbon/ha and this can be mixed with compost. This will enhance the way biochar develops microbes.
If one third of the degraded land, 660 million ha, are used and every year 15 tons/ha biochar is mixed in the soil, this will be together 10 billion tons of Carbon (10 Gt carbon is equivalent to 3.7 Gt CO2) taken from the air and stored in the soil. This is the amount of fossil CO2 which is just released every year.
The only problem with this solution is the scale. Imagine what it means to use soil carbon sequestration techniques on 10% of all arable land: Millions of farmers must change their way of doing agriculture to make it happen. But the alternative — staying the course of ecological ruin — is not very appealing.
Hilly Land Sustainable Agriculture (HLSA) farming systems feature the establishment of single or double hedgerows of either leguminous tree species, shrubs or grasses seeded or planted along contour lines. Hedgerows, serving as barriers, will conserve surface soil by building up organic mass, increasing plant nutrient elements and improving the water holding capacity of the soil, thus conserving surface soil by slowing down erosion. Rocks,stubble, branches and other farm debris are piled at the base of the hedges to further reinforce the foundation of the hedgerows.
The densely planted hedgerows are pruned regularly to encourage the growth of a thick vegetative canopy and provide a continuous supply of green manure that is scattered on the planting strips between hedgerows.
Trees or shrubs alone used as hedges cannot control effectively soil erosion that can lead to flooding and mass destruction of hilly lands that took centuries to build.
Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) provides high biomass production for hedgerows; they have been successfully used in some parts of Thailand, Indonesia, China, and India. The grass has the potential to markedly reduce erosion and rapidly develop natural terraces on slopes with less management attention. It stays alive for 25 to 45 years without being replanted.
In the book, Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, Johan Norberg points out that humans are a gloomy species. Some 71% of Britons think the world is getting worse; only 5% think it is improving. It’s been devastating to see inaccuracies and confusion on the subject sometimes perpetuated by the media, especially on the topic of Climate Change.
Blood and guts and disasters are what make for headlines. Is it any wonder that we feel apprehensive — with so many disasters “all around us”? The media amplify this distortion. Famines and earthquakes all make gripping headlines; “40 million Planes Landed Safely Last Year” does not.
Pessimism has political consequences. A whopping 81% of Donald Trump’s supporters think life has grown worse in the past 50 years.
Sweden in those days was poorer than Sub-Saharan Africa is today. “Why are some people poor?” is the wrong question, argues Mr. Norberg. Poverty is the starting point for all societies. What is astonishing is how fast it has receded. In 1820, 94% of humanity subsisted on less than $2 a day in modern money. That fell to 37% in 1990 and less than 10% in 2015.
As people grow more adept at abstract thought, they find it easier to imagine themselves in other people’s shoes. And there is plenty of evidence that society has grown more tolerant. The main reason why things tend to get better is that knowledge is cumulative and easily shared.
There is still the question of global warming, which is a worry? Can human ingenuity tame it?
CAN we change? And the answer, fortunately, is now YES!
We’re seeing a continuing sharp, exponential decline in the cost of renewable energy, energy efficiency, batteries and storage — and the spread of sustainable agriculture and forestry — giving nations around the world a historic opportunity to embrace a sustainable future, based on a low carbon, hyper-efficient economy.
WILL we change?
In December, 195 nations reached a historic agreement in Paris, which exceeded the highest end of the range of expectations. And the Paris Agreement is just the most recent example of our willingness to act. Much more change is needed, of course, but one of the binding provisions of the Paris Agreement requires five-year transparent reviews of the action plans put forward by every nation, and the first will begin in less than two years. These countries pledge to act to keep global temperature rises to between 1.5 and 2 degrees.
Also, over 1,000 non-state groups, from Tesco and Tata to Aviva and Cisco, have so far signed the Paris Pledge for Action on Climate. This new movement is really self-preservation. It begins with the investors. Would you invest in a company that was insensitive to climate change? Company executives know this insensitivity and they are acting accordingly.
Not only do we have to feel hopeful, but we have to speak hopefully because people are motivated by hope. For example, global investment in renewables is predicted to be $8,000 billion over the next 25 years;
Carbon Offsetting by Planting Trees – Is it a realistic Proposition?
The oceans are enormously important. Carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean. If that hadn’t happened, and if the oceans weren’t there, climate change would already be much worse. When CO2 is released into the atmosphere, about three-quarters of it dissolves into the ocean over a few decade (Acidity).
We must concentrate on the rest of the carbon dioxide emissions, which will only be neutralized by a variety of longer-term geological processes over 250 years.
The only true solutionto combat climate change is by tree planting.Ending deforestation, which cause 10% of the problem, will not solve global warming by itself —urgent action is needed to cut the other 90 percent of emissions.
The world is home to over three trillion trees—with almost half of them living in tropical or subtropical forests. There are roughly 400 trees for every human. 12,000 years ago, before the advent of agriculture, Earth had twice as many trees as it does now. (The previous estimate of trees in the world was 400 billion.)
Here is how we begin our MECHANIZATION REVOLUTION:
An African Revolution: if agricultural mechanization equipment is sent to an African country, like Ivory Coast, it has a value of $200,000 if it was brand new. The nearly new equipment has a real value of $100,000 hypothetically. The agricultural equipment dealer or farmer working with the dealer receives a tax refund benefit at the rate of the last $1000 owed to the government; say 30%of 100,000 or $30,000 from Living Water MicroFinance Inc., a non-profit company.
The new owner,Living Water MicroFinance Inc., will sell the equipment in question in Africa and will feel indebted to the previous owner, the equipment dealer or the farmer. This indebtedness will be 50% of the net selling price. This indebtedness will be resolved in our hypothetical example, by the purchase of additional new equipment from the dealer.
If a farmer were to donate his or her used equipment there would be a largetax refund receipt and a cashcreditfrom a third party, Coop Eau Vivantein Africato a dealer of his or her choice or some other similar arrangement.
More important there will be a real contribution to poverty and famine in an underdeveloped country. We are talking about increased needed efficiency in the agricultural field, which will lead to more employment as well.
Since the need for this equipment is so high, the equipment will enter duty free and since this equipment will be sent to Africa, copies of bill of lading will be made available to the dealer or farmer. We are presently interested in exporting toCote d’Ivoire.
That doesn’t solve problems of carbon dioxide emissions.
It is the time for a new look at the Carbon Tax Dilemma. A paradigm shift is required: from one of collecting carbon sin tax, which is merely recycled into investment for economic growth to a focus on sustainable global warming solutions.
We are still miles away from meeting our targets in Canada and the United States. Emissions of greenhouse gases are running at about 750 megatons annually in Canada, about the same as in 2005; on current trends they are expected to reach 768 MT by 2020 and 815 MT by 2030.
Politicians being elected and rewarded on the basis of short-term decisions that are by many measures intellectually, morally, and financially “corrupt”, and the so-called knowledge workers–the scientists, engineers, and others who should be “blowing the whistle,” are so specialized that there is a real lack of holistic knowledge to see the Big Picture, integrating and imagining how all the pieces fit together.
There must be a better way!
The Province of Ontario is counting on nearly $2 billion a year from auctioning carbon-emission permits to heavy industry, which is supposed to start a virtuous circle of planet-saving investments.
We’re joining a carbon market already functioning in Quebec and California, whose last auction of permits in May went splat.Quebec sold 10 per cent of the permits it expected, California just two per cent.
Canada or United States Leads the Way!
There is a strong case that can be made that Canada or the United States could be on the forefront of in dealing with the absorption of carbon dioxide emissions.When we lead from the front the rest of the world will take notice. There will be an impact on other countries’ behavior from the example that both countries are showing. The benefits of reducing emissions will increase their international goodwill.
The action Canada or the United States takes must be the lowest possible cost. There can be no other low cost solution than supporting and monitoring tree nurseries in Africa. We are talking about an $80,000 bare bones cost.
Each tree seedling has a Net Present Value based on the amount of carbon dioxide emission that it absorbs: at the rate of $15/ton of C02 emissions, the NPVwould be a range of $0.49/fruit tree over 25 years to $2.49/nut tree for 50 years. If we add the cost of monitoring, reporting and auditing over the life of a tree, we must add a further $1.00. The monitoring is relatively easy since all the 300 newly planted fruit trees with a NPV of $450 on an acre and half farms will be maintained by African women and their families.
Living Water MicroFinance Inc.provides the short term micro finance to support the women during the 18 months before the trees become productive. This non-profit company, which acts as a third party auditor, will confirm methods and results. It will also arrange for 25 year to 50 year long term leases with landlords in order to guarantee stability for the women farmers who work in teams of five and who meet weekly.
This support is a new form of foreign aid with a double purpose: famine protection and global warming solutions. The African countries do not have to get involved except to provide agronomist expertise. The money does not flow to an African country.
The funds are used to create the Today’s Tall Tree nurseries, which are very scalable. The tree nursery must have access to flowing water at a high point to allow for irrigation of nutrient water to neighboring farms using micro feeder tubes.
Each tree nursery will be partnered with a technical school that will teach fish and rabbit rearing along with tree nursery maintenance. The main purpose of the self-supporting rabbit-fish farm is to provide nutrient water for the seedlings..
CARBON DIOXIDE STORAGE
Back in Norway, Statoil also operates two projects to store carbon dioxide under water, in some of the most advanced examples of a technology seen as key to removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere: carbon capture and storage (CCS). This is costly and still in its infancy, and governments have supported it only erratically. In 2015 a mere 28 million tonnes of CO2 was stored that way. To help meet the 2ºC limit, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says the world needs to store a whopping 4 billiontonnes a year by 2040.
The world as you know it is changing. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind. We are moving from an economy built on logical capabilities of the Information Age to an economy built on inventive, empathic, big picture capabilities of the Conceptual Age.
In the Conceptual Age we are doing what the overseas knowledge workers can’t do cheaply, that computers can’t do faster, and that satisfies the aesthetic, emotional and spiritual needs of a more prosperous time. In this new age, we need to offer something that satisfies the non-material, transcendent desires of an abundant age?
So what are we to do to prepare ourselves for this change? We will concentrate on several aptitudes:
The appetite for design thinking to reframe experience has never been greater. We start with Design: Today’s Tall Trees
Forests act as a carbon sink by taking carbon dioxide out of atmosphere. It seems like simple arithmetic: a tree can absorb up to a ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime (25 – 40 years), so planting one should be an easy way to mitigate climate change. Remember that tropical trees work 12 months of the year sequestering carbon because there is no dormant winter season. We need to plant billions of trees in Africa.
We must tell our Story to communicate with others and to build a purpose.
Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are set up to understand stories. Every society has told stories. We have a story to give away to someone else who needs it.
The basis of our work depends on agricultural mechanization. A young African will move to the city if all he can earn is $10/day. This same African will return to the land because mechanization has changed the whole picture: the farms can now be more productive.
Enter the world of Living Water MicroFinance Inc.Our company mission is to support women farmers and their families in Africa. We negotiate with landlords to make land available to these subsistence families for a long term lease over 25 years. We help produce cash crops, which include cacao and inter-cropping with yams and banana plantain. We start with a tree nursery that is supported by a Carbon Tax Fund, in which every tree that is planted and lives for 25 years has a net present value of $1.50.
We must look at the Big Picture – combining all the pieces to a new whole or holistic thinking.
The ability to see the Big Pictureencompasses the ability to grasp the relationships between relationships: integrating and imagining how all the pieces fit together. The person who invented the wheel may have been smart but the person who invented the other three wheels was a genius.
The Big Picture:
We develop Agricultural Mechanization of Africa: The main objective of farm mechanization is increasing agricultural production. We focus primarily on the export of tractors.