As well as the positive effects on both people and biodiversity, Inga Alley Cropping has mitigated the release of carbon into the cycle by slash and burn, allowing 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 to calculate the carbon budget of a single family adopting the Inga Model, ceasing the slash-and-burn of forest or secondary vegetation, establishing Inga alleys and planting one hectare of timber/Inga per year, starting in year three. The model estimates that, twelve years after 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 twelve 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 and assuming an adoption rate of 40 families per annum, our Land for Life Program avoided or sequestered 392,900 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 by the end of 2020.
While this isn’t bad for a model project intended to provide food-security and landscape restoration, annual av/sequestration. rates do also increase exponentially.
This carbon model will be refined as more reliable data are compiled; especially data for the actual areas planted of each Inga 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, while encouraging governments to recommend it as an alternative to slash and burn, the potential carbon removed from our atmosphere through capture and burn avoidance could be vast.