Ann & Anis Racy sponsored this 2 ½-acre forest to balance their family’s greenhouse gas emissions and to further research into forests on farms in the tropics.
One of the options recently approved at the Climate Change Meeting in Copenhagen was the use of forests for capturing and storing CO2. Reforest the Tropics manages a privately funded UN Program to improve, demonstrate and apply farm forests for this purpose.
Forests designed by RTT are unique and advantageous in several ways.
First, they use intimate mixtures of different tree species to achieve biological stability as the climate changes. You can see some of the species in the photo above. In the Racy forest we used 5 species: Chancho, Klinkii, Pilon, Cedar and the fast-growing Rainbow tree.
Second, each of these tree species grow at a different rate. The rainbow tree is capable of producing a commercial size log by the age of 6-8 years. The Chancho tree does the same in 8-12 years. Pilon takes 15-18 years. This allows RTT to manage the forest commercially, thinning it frequently for farmer income while leaving an ever increasing amount of carbon captured in the live forest stand for the account of the Racy family.
Third, thinnings allow RTT to manage the forest sustainably. Long-term carbon storage in the forest is only possible in a sustainable forest, one that never has to be clear cut. Farmers in the RTT Model allow RTT to reforest their pastures, but they do this in the understanding that the forest will be profitable for them. This profitability comes from the forest producing logs from thinnings that the farmer can sell. The RTT Management model involves frequent thinnings of the fast-growing forest to improve the forest stand.
The goal of the RTT Program is to create and manage these new forests for efficient, long-term CO2 capture and storage to mitigate climate change and to fit the financial needs of farmers to enhance sustainability. For more information: reforestthetropics.org or call Dr. Barres, Director at 860-912-7706.