Offsetting Our Plant Emissions
The current climate crisis is set to hit poor people like us the hardest. At the same time, the ever-spiraling grip of poverty in a place like ours warrants the very kind of solutions that we are envisioning now, i.e. our intended agro-processing plant. So, how does the UCF plan to ensure that our planned work is as carbon neutral as possible?
Recently, a global campaign launched at the World Economic Forum with the goal of planting one trillion trees by the end of the decade (i.e. by 2030) put it that a bold endeavor like that has the potential to save the planet, and to slow climate change — as mentioned in TIME. Moreover, in a setting like ours, trees also play a very big role in the livelihoods of the poor, from improving food security to protecting watersheds.
Carbon sequestration programs, of which afforestation/reforestation is perhaps the commonest, are also part of the “Clean Development Mechanism” or the “Voluntary Em,ission Reduction” schemes that were established by the Kyoto Protocol in 2005.
Therefore, alongside the fruit saplings that our intended plant will raise and give out to all the farmers participating in our project, we will also raise several species of multipurpose, fast-growing leguminous trees (like albizia, grilicidia and calliandra) that farmers will integrate in their gardens via alley-cropping, as well as native, hardwood trees (Mahogany, Maesopsis, Teak etc) that farmers will grow as separate woodlots.
These trees will help enhance soils through nitrogen fixation, provide animal fodder, firewood, and most importantly, help offset all the carbon emissions from our plant.
To run this work, we will use a number of approaches: 1) if there is enough space at the plant itself, we will have a large community tree nursery located right at the plant. This will raise saplings, all year round, that will be provided to the farmers who live close to the plant. 2). we will establish a community reforestation center in given catchment areas that are far from the plant, for farmers living there, and 3). we will run a tree seed program that will source and supply seed to other local reforesters.
P.S. – as hinted above, all the saplings (mango, orange, passion fruits, pineapple) that local farmers are going to grow for our plant will be directly raised by the UCF itself, not by the farmers, and will be given out to all the participating farmers at no charge. To find out why, please see our planned “Business Model” for this plant by hovering over ‘Action Plan’ on this website. This also partly explains why raising tree saplings to offset CO2 emissions from our plant will be very easy for us to integrate in this work.