Vetiver Project - Naac Baal

13 news updates

Sequestration of atmospheric carbon using Vetiver Grass

in September 2009

In their recently published paper 'Sequestration of atmospheric carbon into subsoil horizons through
deep-rooted grasses – vetiver grass model'
U. C. Lavania and Seshu Lavania make the case that in; "Choosing the strategies to mitigate global warming should envisage sustenance of soil carbon sink, and also long-term locking of excess carbon deep into the soil horizon. Fast growing grasses with penetrating deep
root system would facilitate long-term locking of atmospheric carbon below plough layer with reduced chances of being recycled to atmosphere and recuperate soil carbon sink. Vetiver, a non-invasive C4 grass
with fast-growing tufted root system, reaching 3 m just in one year could be an ideal global candidate with a holding potential of 1 kg atmospheric carbon, sequestered annually deep into the soil pool from one sq metre surface area."

They conclude that:
"Vetiver is now grown in over 100 countries.
It could be established in all varied environments from wet to dry conditions
and could thrive in a wide rage of soils
from sandy to rocky, saline or alkaline.
Vetiver is non-competitive with adjacent
crops. Instead, it enhances crop yields
by moisture retention when planted as
hedgerows along the contours. The plant
is non-invasive, but in certain areas, e.g.
north Indian plains where seed forming
vetiver is prevalent, it can, to some extent,
spread under swamp conditions. However,
the plant types found in south India
and elsewhere in the world are, by and
large, non-seed forming and can be conveniently propagated vegetatively posing
no threat of becoming weedy21. Strategic
plantation of vetiver in crop fields, tree
lines, river, road and rail-line embankments
as hedgerows could potentially contribute to carbon sequestration vis-àvis eco-technological management of soil, crops, agroforestry, and as a source of biomass and bioenergy."

Download the full document at:

http://www.wiserearth.org/file/view/2eee7151c625e03ec9f5a3636ac3671a

SENEGAL: Can "green charcoal" help save the trees?

in May 2009

The initiative reported below is an admirable way to try and address the issue of household fuel and the spreading desertification caused by relying on trees for firewood, by using agricultural waste to produce ‘green charcoal’. This project still raises a number of questions, some of which are raised in the article.

One of the issues which is not raised is the availability of the necessary ‘agricultural waste’ especially during the dry season. A lot of this ‘waste’ is used for animal fodder, or other uses. The availability may be hard to predict and may involve covering large geographical areas to ensure adequate supplies. Consideration needs to be given to working with local communities for the widespread planting of Vetiver hedges. Planting these hedges would provide a number of benefits:

On local farmers' fields they would provide the stabilisation of soils, prevention of erosion, improved moisture retention and increased soil fertility – which have been proved elsewhere to increase crop yields.

Provision of a regular supply of large quantities of biomass from the abundant leaves (15-30 tonnes per hectare), easily harvested, which could provide an excellent source of material for transformation into ‘green charcoal’.

Source of regular additional revenue for the farmers from the sale of the Vetiver grass harvested, to the producers of ‘green charcoal’.

It is this community involvement and wider benefits going beyond just the issue of fuel, which would give this project the possibility of long-term sustainable success.(Vetiver Senegal)

ROSS-BETHIO, 20 April 2009 (IRIN) - An environmental NGO in northern Senegal is about to go to market with "green charcoal" - a household fuel produced from agricultural waste materials to replace wood and charcoal in cooking stoves. At least half of Senegal's 13 million people rely on wood and charcoal for household fuel, while 40 percent relying on petrol products like butane gas, the ministry says. "You need to cut down 5kg of wood to produce only 1kg of [conventional] charcoal," said Ibrahima Niang, alternative household energies specialist at the Energy Ministry. "Less than 30 years ago, charcoal consumed in [the capital] Dakar came from 70km away, from the Thiès region. Now you have to go 400km from Dakar to find forests." According to Senegal's Department of Water and Forestry, 40,000 hectares of forest are cut every year for fuel and other commercial uses.

Deforestation is said to exacerbate soil erosion - already a considerable problem in parts of Senegal. The country is part of the Sahel, a region where erratic rainfall, land degradation and desertification are constant challenges for a population largely dependent on agriculture and livestock. The "green charcoal" is produced by compressing agricultural waste, like the invasive typha weed, into briquets and then carbonising them using a machine. The product has the look and feel of traditional charcoal and burns similarly. "The technology is efficient, effective and economical because we can produce a substitute for charcoal at half the price," Guy Reinaud, director of Pro Natura International, the French NGO that has partnered with the Senegalese government on the green charcoal project. The project is based in Ross-Bethio, a town 300km north of the capital Dakar in the Saint-Louis region.

Tough sell?

Despite the apparent advantages marketing the green charcoal in Senegal is a challenge, according to Mireille Ehemba, specialist in alternative household fuels at PERACOD, a Senegalese-German renewable energy initiative that is also a partner in the green charcoal project. "We have not been able to penetrate the charcoal market in urban areas. People are very attached to charcoal," Ehemba told IRIN. "Much more [education] is needed, including cooking demonstrations that explain how this new fuel works, if we want people to make the switch." Not only buyers need to be convinced. Identifying distribution networks and responding to the needs of charcoal vendors are also major challenges, Ehemba said. For 1kg of green charcoal, a vendor receives 5 US cents, whereas conventional charcoal brings in almost 20 cents per kilogram. "We must talk to producers to get them to increase the scale of their operation in order to increase the profit for vendors if this is to work."

Affordable

Senegalese consumers may be tempted to switch to the new product because it is cheaper than charcoal and butane gas. One kilogram of "green charcoal" sells for just 20 cents, whereas traditional charcoal currently costs three times that. A 6-kg bottle of butane gas costs about $5. Fatou Camara, 40, from Ross-Bethio, has tested the new fuel when cooking for her family of 10. "I can use 1kg of green charcoal and that will cook the dinner. It is cheaper than normal charcoal." Camara told IRIN she used to use butane gas for cooking, but recurrent gas shortages pushed her to switch to green charcoal. In the past, butane gas was heavily subsidised and promoted by the government as an alternative to charcoal. But such measures are no longer sustainable, according to the Energy Ministry's Niang. The government plans to phase out butane subsidies in July. PERACOD's Ehemba is concerned the move will put more pressure on Senegal's forests as poorer households return to traditional fuels like charcoal. "It is now very important that we propose alternatives like improved stoves and bio-charcoal so that people have affordable ways to cook cleanly," she said.

ProNatura and the Senegalese government plan to turn the project into a profit-making venture called "Green Charcoal Senegal" that will produce up to 800 tons of the green fuel a year for sale in the Saint-Louis region. ProNatura will soon start a project in Mali, transforming cotton stems into green charcoal, and plans similar projects in Niger, Madagascar, China, India and Brazil. "It has global potential in terms of its adaptability to different local environments, and it uses local waste materials," said Reinaud. The Energy Ministry's Niang said: "It is not possible to completely replace charcoal [in Senegal]. But even if we can replace 10 or 15 percent [of it] that is good. It will preserve the forests."

Ethiopian Vetiver workshop‏ March 2009

in April 2009

All the proceedings of this workshop (abstracts, powerpoints and four movies) up on TVNI's website at: http://www.vetiver.org/g/conferences.htm There is a lot of very good information - in fact the best package of VS "tools" collected so far. Combined they are pretty compelling

Climate change: Bring Africa in from the cold

in March 2009

A highly relevant article by Araya Asfaw - director of the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

4 March 2009 | SciNet


The CDM does not support solarthermal technology

Flickr/julian-
For Africa to effectively adapt to climate change, the rules of the game must change in Copenhagen, says Araya Asfaw.

Africa is the continent most affected by climate change, yet it has gained the least from past climate change negotiations.

In theory, the Kyoto Protocol should offer Sub-Saharan Africa a way out of the poverty trap by promoting clean development with minimum environmental impact. But its financial incentives for doing so, especially the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), do not favour African contexts. Only a handful of projects on the continent get funding from the CDM and almost all of these are in South Africa.

The CDM allows countries signed up to lowering their emissions under the Kyoto Protocol to invest in emission-reduction projects in developing countries instead of more expensive alternatives at home. Such projects can also earn saleable emission-reduction credits that can be used to meet Kyoto targets.

It is meant to stimulate sustainable development, while allowing industrialised countries to be flexible in meeting their emission targets. But it does not encourage good behaviour. For example, it does not support primary forest protection, only reforestation and afforestation. You have to clear the forests and replant them to benefit from the CDM.

Expanding the grid

More importantly, the CDM does not support projects to expand electricity grids with clean energy sources such as wind, hydropower, solar power or geothermal power — claiming that expansion does not replace dirty fuel. But in Africa, over 90 per cent of energy supplies come from unsustainable biomass burning. Though small, Africa's grid-connected electricity is clean. Electrification here actually displaces traditional fuel that is dirty.

Africa holds great potential for clean energy — it is blessed with plenty of sunshine and there are many untapped sources of hydropower. For example, the Co Co ngo River, which accounts for nearly 30 per cent of Africa's surface water reserves, could potentially generate 400,000 megawatts of power. The right combination of solar and hydropower could meet 80 per cent of the continent's electricity demands. But harnessing it means investing in the right technology and infrastructure.

Europeans are considering generating electricity with solarthermal technology in North Africa, importing it and connecting it to the grid. But because the CDM does not support solarthermal technology Africa itself cannot follow suit.

As many studies have shown, wind and hydropower are also complementary — when water levels are low, wind speeds are high. Technologies that combine the two would be effective if connected to the grid but, again, the CDM will not support investments in these.

Neither will it support cogeneration electricity plants that use biomass feeds, if they are connected to the grid. In Africa, most of these plants are found far away from demand centres and are only useful if connected to the grid. Similarly, capturing methane from municipality solid or liquid waste qualifies for the CDM, but electricity generated using the methane does not qualify if it is connected to the grid.

Non-edible oils such as castor, rapeseed, jatropha or moringa could be used in rural areas instead of traditional fuels to meet household energy demands for cooking, lighting or even running water pumps. But the cost of existing technologies and appliances puts them beyond the reach of the poor who earn under a dollar a day. Plant oil only qualifies for CDM funding if it is used for transportation unprocessed. But unprocessed plant oil does not meet US or European biodiesel standards so no one will buy it. Plant oils could also help displace fossil fuels in the cement industry but, again, there is no mechanism for funding this through the CDM.

Sustainable technologies

Africa's energy requirements for meeting basic human needs are just one tenth of the per capita requirements in the developed world. What Africa needs to meet these are sustainable technologies such as advanced renewable energy carriers and efficient stoves.

Scientists are defining the planetary limits to save humanity from extinction. The upcoming international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December will probably set global targets of 20 per cent emission reductions.

And the funding available for mitigation and adaptation projects is likely to be four times higher than that set out in Kyoto. If properly invested, it could help Africa develop rapidly with minimum human impact on the environment. This is what climate change negotiations should be all about. But unless the rules change, Africa will be once more left out in the cold.

Community-based adaptation to climate change

in March 2009

2 March 2009 (IRIN) - The impact of climate change is going to affect the poorest communities the most, so the focus has shifted to formalising community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change, which will help the poorest and most vulnerable" to access funding and information. "Even with the best of intentions and lots of money being made available by the international community towards adaptation to climate change, it will only trickle down to the poorest and most vulnerable (as is our experience of development funding in general in the past)," said Saleemul Huq, head of the climate change group at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). But what is CBA to climate change? Huq explained by email that CBA is "still an 'aspirational' term that (we hope) will describe the universe of adaptation to climate change activities being done by very vulnerable and poor communities (mostly in developing countries but not necessarily only there) over time. We are still at a very early stage of developing the methodology and definitions." Many such activities are taking place in Bangladesh, identified as among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, increased flooding, salinity, and frequent droughts in some areas. As the rains have become more intense and frequent over the years, villagers struggling with waterlogged fields in parts of southern Bangladesh have been growing food on floating islands of paddy straw, water hyacinths and other aquatic plants; hydroponics, or soil-less agriculture, is another way of adapting to "climate variability", as Huq put it. The distinction between adaptation to climate change and adaptation to climate variation is often blurred. Climate variability refers to the variations in the mean climate statistics, while climate change refers to long-term significant change in average weather, including climate variability. The focus is now on "clubbing" all community-based adaptation activities under the term "community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change", said Huq. "So it is still a work-in-progress to define CBA to Climate Change (as opposed to CBA to Climate Variability)." A CBA project looks much like any development project - for example, water harvesting in drought conditions rather than a stand-alone response to climate change - noted an IIED policy brief written by Huq. CBA to climate change is just another new layer added to other community-driven initiatives. "The adaptation element introduces the community to the notion of climate risk and then factors that into their activities. This makes them more resilient, both to immediate climate variability and long-term climate change," said the IIED brief. "It should be noted, though, that the few existing CBA projects are so new that they have hardly been tested for resilience to climate variability, let alone to climate change." Global initiative The process was the focus of the recent Third International Workshop on CBA in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, organized jointly by the IIED, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) and the Ring Alliance of 13 policy research organisations from across the world. A Global Initiative on CBA was launched at the workshop to promote the concept and share knowledge. The initiative would not only build a support base of information for communities but would also serve the strategic purpose of advocating "specific quotas" for the most vulnerable in any new global funds for adaptation that may be agreed in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or other global processes, said Huq. "Climate change is an esoteric and initially confusing concept to many," the IIED brief acknowledged. "Communication about it must use a community's own language and terms they can understand." Studies in Vietnam and Malawi have shown that rural communities often sense the climate is changing and start adapting to climate variability by growing new hardy crop varieties, but lack of understanding was greater in areas with poor communication. The IIED brief recommended not only translating scientific texts into local languages but also using traditional means of communication such as art and theatre. One of the papers presented at the workshop highlighted the use of rural radio in the Democratic Republic of Congo to inform small-scale farmers of the challenges posed by climate change. The UK-based Institute for Development Studies has set up a website for exchanging information (http://www.cba-exchange.org/) on CBA to inform NGOs and communities. Google Earth is also working with governments to map adaptation projects globally. IRIN

Can bamboo save our forests and help end poverty?

in March 2009

An interesting article:

A shift toward more bamboo production by small scale farmers in Vietnam could reduce poverty and help circumvent worldwide demand for timber as a building material, writes Bryan Nelson from Ecoworldly, part of the Guardian Environment Network

From Ecoworldly, part of the Guardian Environment Network guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 18 February 2009 11.03 GMT

Due to its many benefits, bamboo has been touted as an environmental miracle crop. It's a significant carbon sink, it grows fast, is more termite-resistant than timber, and can be used for everything from food to clothing material to scaffolding for building construction.
But are environmentalists being bamboozled? Despite its benefits, increased bamboo production could raise a lot of concerns too.

Perhaps the biggest concern about bamboo comes from the fact that it can't be sustainably grown on a large scale in North America and Europe, meaning it has to be imported from abroad. Currently 80% of the world's bamboo production comes from China, where regulatory standards for organic and sustainable production are either non-existent or largely opaque. There's also a concern that increased demand for bamboo could encourage farmers to ramp up their use of pesticides to boost yield, which would readily accumulate as run-off in the moist regions where bamboo grows best.

There is also increased distress that bamboo is environmentally inappropriate as raw material for textiles and clothing fabrics. Because of its rugged fibers, bamboo must be cooked in strong chemical solvents and turned into a viscose solution before it can be reconstructed into proper weaving material. The chemicals used are pollutants that could threaten human health and wildlife if the manufacturing process is untidy– a likely consequence of manufacturing these products in the developing world.

Furthermore, while expanding bamboo production worldwide could help to prevent deforestation and timber usage at home, there are concerns that it could prompt farmers in the developing world to clear their native forests.

And let's not forget about everyone's favorite endangered Chinese export– their lovable Giant Pandas. Since Pandas eat bamboo almost exclusively, wouldn't harvesting bamboo contribute to the destruction of their habitat?

The good news is that many of these concerns are outweighed by the immense benefits that bamboo production brings. Agricultural efficiency is easily its largest benefit. Since bamboos are the fastest growing woody plants in the world, the crop can be replenished quickly. Furthermore, bamboo is self-regenerating, which means that after the stalk has been cut, it rapidly regrows from the remaining rootstock. As long as bamboo is grown in its native habitat, its impact on local ecosystems is minimal compared to the destructive foresting practices of timber production.

Although concerns about bamboo as a textile and clothing fabric are warranted (and consumers should probably avoid bamboo textiles unless they're particularly well-informed), bamboo is a remarkably suitable replacement for timber as building material. It forms a very hard wood that is extremely light weight and exceptionally durable.

And despite the fact that almost all bamboo has to be imported to North America and Europe, the carbon-conscious consumer can rest easier knowing that the fuel-usage for transporting bamboo from Asia to California is essentially equivalent to shipping timber coast-to-coast in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy.

For farmers and local communities in developing countries like Vietnam, it's impossible to deny the economic benefits of growing more bamboo. The Prosperity Institute estimates that 60% of the value of bamboo production goes right back into the pocket of the farmers who grew it. And as demand for the gregarious grass increases around the globe, rural economies in Southeast Asia could garner huge benefits by growing and selling bamboo to foreign buyers.

As many as 1.5 billion people already rely upon bamboo or rattan in some significant way, according to the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. So even if bamboo isn't an omnibenevolent eco-crop, it's not bad, and it's here to stay.

And so far, there's no reason to believe that increased bamboo production will necessarily put the Panda at risk. The species' of plant used for construction are different varieties than the ones Pandas consume. That said, consumers concerned about the spot-eyed herbivores should always take the time to be conscious of where their forested products come from, especially if they're from China. Deforestation, agricultural encroachment and road-building remain the biggest threats to Panda habitat.

VETIVER SYSTEM APPLICATIONS - Technical Reference manual - SWAHILI EDITION

in February 2009

The Vetiver Network International has published Vetiver System Application. Technical Reference Manual in Swahili - full color! You can download it for free (see www.vetiver.org). It can also be purchased as hard copy from amazon.com. If you know people in East Africa who might find the Swahili edition useful please send them a copy of this message.

Réflexion sur la Réduction de la Vulnérabilité de la ville des Gonaïves - Haiti

in February 2009

Mardi 10 février 2009 – Port au Prince - Haiti
Tony Cisse, président du GIE Naac Baal, en représentant ‘The Vetiver Network International’ a fait une présentation sur « Le Système Vetiver : pour la lutte contre l’érosion, les inondations, la protection des infrastructures et le soutien a l’agriculture » pour une journée de Réflexion sur la Réduction de la Vulnérabilité de la ville des Gonaïves.

Gonaïves, appeler la ville de l’indépendance est la deuxième ville de Haïti, a souffert des dégâts catastrophiques, avec des milliers de morts à la suite de plusieurs tempêtes, les plus récent Ike et Hanna.

« Haïti -pays le plus pauvre de l’espace américain- est classé au 153ème rang sur 175 pays au classement 2005 du PNUD…Haïti présente les caractéristiques d’une véritable catastrophe écologique qui menace toute la population. Chiffre frappant : il ne restait plus en 2004 que 1,5% de la couverture forestière originelle haïtienne contre 15% en 1970. Les Haïtiens déboisent pour fournir du bois de chauffe et pour agrandir des surfaces cultivables de plus en plus petites. Certaines régions présentent un visage lunaire fait de « montagnes pelées », que les pluies torrentielles de la « saison cyclonique » dévalent rapidement, pouvant se transformer en véritable torrents de boue menaçant les zones urbaines. A tout moment en Haïti, la catastrophe environnementale, ajoutée aux risques climatiques, peut se transformer en crise humanitaire aiguë, comme ce fut le cas par exemple lors du passage sur les Gonaïves de la tempête Jeanne en septembre 2004 » www.actioncontrelafaim.org

Le journée de Réflexion sur la Réduction de la Vulnérabilité de la ville des Gonaïves, organiser par Le Banque Mondial, a eu lieu a Port au Prince, Mardi 10 février 2009 en présence des ministres, politiciens, acteurs de développement et des ONGs. Il y avait plusieurs présentations sur la situation actuelle comme :
'Revue des travaux existants', 'Evaluation en images des dégâts sur les infrastructures hydro-agricoles à Gonaïves', 'Protection de la ville et Plan local d’urbanisme', and the 'Integration of environmental technologies and methods into international development practices and early warning system'.

Tony Cisse en représentent TVNI, a présenter sur « Le Système Vetiver : pour la lutte contre l’érosion, les inondations, la protection des infrastructures et le soutien a l’agriculture » (http://vetiversenegal.blogspot.com pour voir la présentation) en montant des solutions pratiques du Système Vetiver qui peut contribuer a une solution des problèmes environnemental de la ville de Gondaives.

Le présentation a été bien reçu par l’audience, et beaucoup entre eux a exprimer le désire de essayer cette technologie abordable et vert pour améliorais l’environnement, fixer les sols, protéger les infrastructure et contribuer a une défense contre les effets des inondations.

3rd National Annual Organic Products Fair in Senegal

in February 2009

The third annual organic and natural products faire will be held in Thies, Senegal from the 8th to 12th April 2009. Organised by the Fédération Nationale pour l’Agriculture Biologique ait has the backing of the FAO. This initiative, initiated by the AGRECOL NGO is an oportunity to expose products from the growing group of organic producers to the Senegalese public. Apartfrom organic agricultural products, natural and Fair Trade products will be exposed. The Fedération Nationale pour l’Agriculture Biologique will use the opportunity of the event to initiate a discussions with all interested partners on establishing Organic aricultural standards for Senegal in line with international norms.

For more details and informationplease contact: Ibrahima SECK, FENAB, BP 412 Thiès, Sénégal. Tel : (+221) 33 951 9337/38 Mobile: (+221 77 442 4029). E-mail: iseck@yahoo.fr

Vetiver Senegal blog wins award from The Vetiver Network International

in January 2009


In the annual awards, announced by The Vetiver Network International (TVNI), in January 2009, this blog was amonst four winners:

The awards are: Yoann Coppin of Madagascar. The best Picassa Vetiver Systems gallery. http://picasaweb.google.fr/Yoannmada/VetiverSystemMadagascar# for an excellent depiction of sand dune stabilization inMadagascar and the involvement of small farmers in plant materialproduction.

Alberto Rodriguez - Puerto Rico - The best Vetiver System Blog -http://vetiversolutions.blogspot.com/ Alberto Rodriguez has not onlycreated an excellent blog site “Vetiver Solutions”, but has providedus all an example of how powerful a VS blogsite can be. He has alsoshown initiative in helping others to develop blogsites. He has also established the Caribbean Vetiver Network Google Group

Marco Forti - Italy - The best Vetiver System Blog with new ideas . http://www.journalontheland.blogspot.com/ Marco has shown greatinitiative in creating his blogsite “Journal of the Land”. It is bothin English and Italian and is full of innovative Vetiverapplications.

Tony Cisse – Senegal – The best Vetiver System Blog that combines a blog with Picassa picture albums . http://vetiversenegal.blogspot.com/

Congratulations to all winners, and congratulations to all who have taken the initiative to share VS information via the web.

Vetiver longevity and carbon sequestration

in December 2008

Vetiver Hedges, once planted, can stay in place for over 50 years, and as they are not invasive do not spread - the evidence can be seen from a 2007 Google Earth image of a part of Fiji that was planted with vetiver hedgerows in the 1950s’. (found on my blog: http:/vetiversenegal.blogspot.com)
This longevity is important as it demonstrates its cost effectiveness in infrastructure applications. It is equally important when associated with carbon sequestration as one of the principal concens is how long planting a plant to sequester the carbon in its roots will continue to maintain that function.
Research carried out by CIAT in 1995 indicated that Andropogon guyanus, a closely related species of vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) could store as as much as 53 tons of CO2 as organic matter per hectare per year, equivalent to about 5kg per square meter. It should be noted that Vetiver grass has a much more massive root structure than Andropogon guyanus. A mature vetiver plant would take up about half a square meter of land area, making an estimated equivalent of 2.5 kg of carbon sequestered per plant.
Vetiver grass produces a huge mass of roots that attain a depth of 2-4 meters after two years (see photo on previous post). As Dale Rachmeler of TVNI has stated; "Root derived soil carbon accumulation is being estimated by scientific studies across the globe under both grassland and forests, either in the tropics or in temperate areas. For carbon to truly be sequestered it must be transformed to mineralized carbon aided by the microbial activity in the soil associated with the root zones. One of the reasons for high vetiver plant vigor is a result of its mychoriza (type of soil microbiological organism) association. This association is one of the reasons vetiver hedgerows produce such high amounts of biomass on the one hand and such high amounts of carbon added to the sequestered soil carbon pool. The Vetiver Network believes that we have a means of offsetting CO2 emissions by producing an equivalent carbon dioxide savings, that is, sequestering CO2 in the soil under vetiver hedges. Vetiver hedges also have many other benefits such as soil and water conservation, pollution control, erosion control, and poverty reduction especially in the tropics. It is especially useful at the community level to provide sustainable and affordable solutions to the variety of problems facing communities who are ill equipped to deal with these problems. When you combine the CO2 offset mechanism to these other benefits and considering its ease of planting and maintenance when compared with tree planting, the argument for using vetiver becomes even stronger."
When considering the carbon absorption potential, in conjunction with its longevity, we can see that the question of 'impermance' is well addressed, one of the important considerations when considering the 'validity' of a carbon squestration project by the principles outlined in the “The Carbon Trust three stage approach to developing a robust offsetting strategy” (http://www.planvivo.org/content/fx.planvivo/resources/Carbon%20Trust%20offsetting%20guidance.pdf)

Islam, the Environment and the use of Vetiver Grass

in November 2008

I have recently published a paper which is a response to the current global environmental crisis, particularly as
experienced in Senegal by
• firstly examining the relationship between Islam and the environment, in order to establish whether there is an Islamic
environmentalism
• secondly to establish what an Islamic response might be to the environmental crisis, and what the implications may be for individual duties of Muslims
• thirdly to propose a possible practical response that Senegalese Muslims can make, in conformity with their faith, to respond to the
growing environmental problems they are encountering
In relation to these objectives I would like to make a couple of points.
Although this paper addresses the environmental crisis in Senegal
specifically, I by no means want it to be read as exclusive to the Senegalese
context. Islam itself is not bound by national borders, ethnicity, gender or
language, and neither is the environment. This paper is situated in the
Senegalese context purely because that is the context within which I am familiar, and active in.
The paper is focussed on the Islamic perspective. This is not meant to
reflect negatively, or comment on, the wider environmental movement, or other religions. Senegal is a secular state and the Senegalese nation is composed of different religious traditions living in harmony with each other.
My objective is rather to stimulate both religious and environmental dialogue about the environmental issues which are confronting the Senegalese population on a daily basis, including that of climate change.

Read the paper at:
http://www.vetiver.com/SEN-cisse2.pdf

Vetiver Senegal Blog

in November 2008

I have just put a new blog up, looking at all aspects of the environment and the use of the vetiver system in Senegal. Please feel free to visit:
http://vetiversenegal.blogspot.com/