Carbon Capture Powerhouse: Agroforestry

Breathing Life into Barren Land

According to the United Nations, up to 40% of the world’s land is now degraded.

And in Southeast Asia, 15-35% of the land is under threat from degradation.

Lush forests turn into arid deserts.

Fertile land into barren soil.

Flourishing biodiversity into bland nothingness.

This haunting transformation is the harsh reality of land degradation, a severe environmental crisis driven primarily by deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices, including excessive use of synthetic inputs.

According to the United Nations, up to 40% of the world’s land is now degraded.

And in Southeast Asia, 15-35% of the land is under threat from degradation.

Lush forests turn into arid deserts.

Fertile land into barren soil.

Flourishing biodiversity into bland nothingness.

This haunting transformation is the harsh reality of land degradation, a severe environmental crisis driven primarily by deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices, including excessive use of synthetic inputs.

The Devastating Toll of Land Degradation

The impact of land degradation extends far beyond environmental. It poses significant economic risks, particularly in regions where the lifeblood of communities is inextricably linked to the health of the natural capital.

In Asia Pacific, nature loss threatens up to 63% of the region’s GDP, equivalent to a staggering US$19 trillion. Ignoring the effects of degradation comes at a substantial opportunity cost, one that jeopardises the very foundation upon which countless livelihoods and economies are built.

Action needs to be taken, and fast.

Land Restoration: More Than Just Carbon Removal

The good thing is ready solutions are at hand.

Soils are the second-largest carbon storage system and carbon serves critical functions in soil health.

At Arkadiah, we’re focusing on methods that use carbon in a transformative way: regenerate degraded land, meet global and regional climate goals, improve food security, and improve economic livelihoods through stable, secure incomes.

One of which is agroforestry – an age-old practice of integrating trees, shrubs, crops and/or lifestock in a single land management system. This technique mimics natural forest ecosystems, creating a diverse and self-sustaining environment.

Benefits of Agroforestry

By integrating trees into agricultural landscapes, agroforestry systems not only sequester carbon but also provide a range of ecosystem services. They enhance biodiversity by creating habitats for various species, regulate local climate through evapotranspiration, and improve air and water quality through natural filtration processes.

The diverse plant species in agroforestry systems interact in a symbiotic relationship. Trees and shrubs provide shade, moisture retention, and nutrient cycling through leaf litter decomposition, creating a fertile environment for crops to thrive. Simultaneously, the deep-rooted trees and shrubs prevent soil erosion and improve water infiltration, enhancing soil health and productivity.

Moreover, agroforestry systems offer economic benefits to farmers and local communities. The mix of crops, timber, and non-timber forest products provides a steady stream of income, contributing to food security and economic resilience.

This sustainable approach aligns with global climate goals, promoting climate-smart agriculture and fostering a harmonious relationship between human activities and the environment.

Heroica Coffee: Agroforestry in Practice

Arkadiah has partnered with Heroica Coffee to exemplify the two-fold potential of sustainable agriculture and agroforestry by regenerating barren land and economic livelihoods for local communities through growing nature-positive coffee.

At their Kalinga plantation in the Philippines, Heroica Coffee has demonstrated its credentials by planting over 60,000 coffee trees, 1,000 native trees, and providing 50 families with new jobs and improved living standards. Their first harvest was sold to Blue Bottle Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster and retailer in the USA focusing on single-origin beans.

“Our proudest moment has been to achieve the score we have for our coffee at such an early stage in our coffee production. This is a real validation that we’re on the right path and the hard work of the team is really paying off.” Craig Johnson, Co-Founder, Heroica Coffee.

Moving forward, Heroica Coffee is expanding their operations with a new venture at Subic Bay set to become one of the largest coffee plantations in the Philippines.

The new plantation will embrace an agroforestry approach and focus on climate-resilient coffee, which will be more heat, drought and pest resistant.

“With our new site in Subic, we aim to grow great coffee with an agroforestry model that can be replicated by Filipino small holder farmers and co-operatives,” explains Craig. “Soil health is key for quality coffee and agroforestry enables a balanced ecology with less dependence on chemicals. Combining climate-resilient coffee with intercropping rejuvenates soil health, captures carbon, and provides additional income – a win for the coffee sector, farmers, and the environment.”

Similar to Kalinga, Heroica Coffee plans to work with the local tribal community, supporting their goals to preserve their way of life and protect the rich natural habitat. In doing so, they safeguard the futures of coffee farmers while regenerating the land.

Arkadiah will measure the carbon sequestration potential and nature-positive outcomes for this new project. Heroica Coffee will use NatureOS, Arkadiah’s natural capital accounting system to quantify the ecological uplift, fast tracking their compliance with sustainable sourcing standards and generate carbon revenue.

Find out more here. 

Join Us In Scaling Up Agroforestry

Arkadiah quantifies the carbon sequestration and co-benefits of agroforestry projects through NatureOS, our natural capital accounting system. We guide project development, implementation and carbon credit generation.

Contact us today to explore agroforestry opportunities that pave the way for a sustainable future.

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