`climate smart agriculture`

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In Durban, last week the catchword was `climate smart agriculture`, earlier terms like agroforestry, permaculture, food forest and green belt movement were used, all concepts of planting trees for food and income. This climate smart, park like, bio diverse, land use might well turn out to be the major tool in the fight against climate change as well as poverty. That is, if the villagers are taken seriously, if they own the process and can make their own plan, no large scale interventions.
Continuity is the key; few trees, which are planted in voluntary schemes, reach maturity. So our plan is to pay for nursing the saplings and young trees. In the tropics it takes an average of 4 years for trees to become productive. To keep things simple we plan to pay a small fixed amount for each tree for 4 years to its planter/caretaker, like a rupee a month per tree.
Efficiency and prevention of waste are essential to minimize costs and carbon footprint of the implementation. To prevent duplication we want to work with existing community based organisations and through microfinance structures. If the implementation is profitable it can be outsourced and so it might spread quickly (go viral).
This system of paying a fixed amount for the maintenance of the tree, we named “tree credits”. Although all situations are unique and might vary wildly, from school children action to commercial agroforestry, an additional goal of this trial is to develop a system that could be applied universally.
Income generated from PV solarpower and biomass, will make the project attractive for large investors; and local water and electricity supply will be integrated in the further stages of the project.
Quantities, the amount of extra trees needed to have a real impact on the global climate are staggering. Hundreds of billions (like doubling the actual amount of trees growing on earth and restoring the situation as it was before humans started cutting down trees) will be enough to absorb most of CO2 produced by humans.  FS

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