The basis of our model and Inga Alley Cropping as an alternative to slash and burn has made positive effects for both the people and the biodiversity. However, it has an enormous impact on reducing the carbon released into the cycle by slash and burn, and allows vast amounts of carbon to be re-captured while previously cleared forest regenerates.
Atmospheric Carbon emissions avoided by one family holding
We have a mathematical model of the carbon budget of a single family adopting the Guama Model, ceasing the slash-and-burn of forest or secondary vegetation, establishing Inga alleys and planting 1 ha. of timber/Inga per year, starting in year 3. The model estimates that, by year 12 following adoption, the family will be avoiding carbon emissions and sequestering atmospheric carbon at a combined annual rate of 88 tonnes of Carbon (C) per year. Over that 12-year period they will have accrued a total of 712 tonnes of C as their plantings grow.
Atmospheric Carbon emissions avoided over the present project lifetime
Aggregating the numbers together, and assuming an adoption rate of 40 families p.a., our Land for Life Program, by the end of 2019, will be avoiding/sequestering (av/sequ.) atmospheric C at an annual rate of 15,512 t. per yr.; with an accumulated total of 50,360 tonnes C. Expresed as CO2 , this totals to 186,300 t.
I submit that this isn’t bad for a model project intended to provide food-security and landscape restoration. Annual av/sequ. rates increase exponentially, so that by the end of year 10, for example, we shall have accrued a total CO2 tonnage of 325,540 t.
This Carbon-model will be refined as more reliable data are compiled; especially data for the actual areas planted of each Guama component. Many families are planting extra plots of Inga alleys that can be rotated for two basic grain crops per year.
Moving forward, if we can take our findings and projects to other countries in South America and Asia, whilst encouraging governments to adopt it as a recommended alternative to slash & burn, the potential carbon removed from our atmosphere through capture and burn avoidance could be truly huge.