Blog Posts

Case Study # 31

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.

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.
RTT CASE STUDY #31: A FAMILY FOREST TO OFFSET CO2 EMISSIONS

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.

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Categories: RTT Scientific Model

Loud Fuel Company

 

Loud Fuel Co: sponsored applied research forest. Today, three years later the view is very different, see below…Loud Fuel Co: sponsored applied research forest when planted in 2010. Today, three years later the view is very different.

Loud Fuel forest taken in October 2011
Loud Fuel forest taken in October 2011

Triumvirate Environmental staffers visit the Loud Fuel forest in 2012. The Loud Fuel forest was planted in 2010
Triumvirate Environmental staffers visit the Loud Fuel forest in 2012. The Loud Fuel forest was planted in 2010
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Categories: Loud Fuel Comapany

Hotchkiss School

Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CTElsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT

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Categories: Education

RTT Education

Climate Change and the Role of Tropical Forests

Offset2

  • Free classes on climate change and the role of tropical forests.
  • A school forest on a farm in Costa Rica with animals, birds and trees.
  • A sign with your name on it.
  • Capture and store 20 tons of CO2 each year for your greenhouse gas account.
  • A 25-year agreement with the farmer.
  • The farmer benefits from selling some of the production from the managed forest.
  • Your forest is managed by the staff of RTT. A free CO2-emissions inventory done by your students under RTT guidance establishes a baseline for your school or classroom.  Can you become greener?
  • E-mail reports and photos for your class.
  • Watch the forest habitat grow.
  • Monkeys, Toucans, Armadillos, Parrots and more!
  • Participate in our research to develop a better forest.

Forest Habitat and Support Projects Photo Gallery

Forest Butterfly

Walking in the forest allows students to see more than just the trees.

Poison Dart Frog

Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT
Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT
Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Foreground food crop background the forest is growing
Foreground human food crop background the forest is growing.

New London Public School's SEMI students raised funds to offset carbon emitted by the school system.

The SEMI program at New London Public Schools forest is changing as the trees grow

SPONSOR A CARBON-OFFSET FOREST FOR YOUR SCHOOL
A pasture to a forest in less than 6 ½ years A research forest in Costa Rica

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Categories: Education

Shade loving Trees Under the Canopy

We are very interested in species of trees that can fill in under our forests as we harvest/thin the larger trees. This is our approach to developing the RTT forest model that can achieve our goals of long-term income for the farmer, and carbon storage.  Here are examples from under-plantings of Gavilan in a 2010 forest. They are straight so far.

Gavilan as a species of trees that can fill in under our forests as we harvest/thin the larger trees
Gavilan as a species of trees that can fill in under our forests as we harvest/thin the larger trees forest is 2 1/2 years old.
Gradually, the Klinkiis under the Deglupta will expand upwards and to the sides. We
want a forest in which no sunlight reaches the forest floor, all of the solar energy captured
by the trees. These are still very young trees, doing very well.

Because we know the growth characteristics of these tree species, we can design forests that may better meet the stakeholders needs, namely, the sequestation needs of US emitters who sponsor forests, income for farmers on whose pastures we plant the forests, and the others such as wildlife and the rest of the biome..

 Deglupta, Klinkii and Cedar growing well together, so far.  The trees are 2 years and 1 month old
Deglupta, Klinkii and Cedar growing well together, so far. The trees are 2 years and 1 month old
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Categories: Projects & Partners

Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative CMEEC

The CMEEC 15-Acre Carbon-Offset Forest

In 2000, RTT partnered with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) to plant a 15-acre forest in Costa Rica to help offset carbon emissions created through CMEEC’s energy generation activities.  CMEEC is a publicly directed joint action supply agency formed by the state’s municipal electric utilities.

CMEEC Forest in Costa Rica, July 2008

CMEEC furnishes low-cost and reliable electric power by financing, acquiring and constructing generating resources and implementing power supply contracts.  Connecticut’s municipal utilities supply electric power to over 66,000 customers including some of the largest and most prominent industries in Connecticut.

Shown to the right is the 8-year old CMEEC forest ready to be thinned for farmer income. The remaining forest, after thinning, will continue to sequester and store the CO2 emissions from CMEEC’s office and vehicle emissions.  RTT measures most forests annually to calculate the sequestration rate in this applied research program.

RTT Staff Measuring Trees in a Costa Rican Carbon-Offest Forest

Shown left, RTT staff making measurements on some of the 8-year old trees in the CMEEC forest in Costa Rica.  The worker in the tree is measuring the upper diameters of the Chancho trees to be able to accurately calculate their form class, volume and carbon content.  Thinnings are an important part of the RTT Model of carbon-offset forests.  The RTT Model includes thinnings of forests for farmer income as a way to make the forests sustainable. Sustainability is the key to long-term, indefinite carbon storage in forests.

CMEEC Sponsors Forests

CMEEC Sponsors Forests

 

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Categories: CMEEC

In Support of Forestry

A recent New York Times editorial makes the case for allowing nations to offset a portion of their CO2 omissions by paying to reduce deforestation around the world.  Forest preservation is vital from both a climate change and biodiversity standpoint, the Times explains:

Deforestation accounts for one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — about the same as China’s emissions, more than the emissions generated by all of the world’s cars and trucks. And the world is doing far too little to stop it. An estimated 30 million acres of rain forest disappear every year, destroying biodiversity and pouring billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The article continues by noting that, economically speaking, forests may be more valuable as carbon sinks than as land for crops under the newly proposed legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill:

The economics make sense. . . . The World Bank estimates that an acre of rain forest converted to crops is worth $100 to $250. It’s worth far more under a system that puts a value on carbon. An average acre stores about 200 tons of carbon; assuming a low price of $10 a ton, that acre is suddenly worth $2,000.

Reforest the Tropics is committed to the importance of tropical forestry, via preservation and reforestation, as a means of ensuring our planet’s health.  We commend the editorial staff of the New York Times for this insightful editorial.

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Categories: RTT Archives

Fast Growth in the Superior Nut Carbon-Offset Forest No. 5

The two photos shown below, depicting the Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offest Forest No. 5, were taken exactly 1 ½ years apart:  the first was taken October 2007; the second was taken on May 2009.  Lining the road are super-fast growing RTT Deglupta hybrids, planted to facilitate early harvest by felling into the road.  Farther to the right and left is a mixture of Klinkii, Deglupta and protected Mahogany, another RTT forest design on 14 acres.  The goal of the RTT applied research program is to design and manage improved sustainable carbon-offset forests for efficient carbon capture and farmer income.

Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offset Forest No. 5; Photo taken October 2007

Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offset Forest No. 5; Photo taken October 2007


Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offset Forest No. 5; Photo taken May 2009

Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offset Forest No. 5; Photo taken May 2009

 

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Categories: Superior Nut Company

RTT Featured as Case Study in Peer Reviewed Article

An article just published this month in the journal New Forests features Reforest the Tropics (RTT) as a case study for reforestation as a model for climate change mitigation.  In particular, the article highlights RTT as one of only two organizations surveyed that has proposed concrete climate change adaptation methods.

The abstract of the article is available here.  It is entitled “Climate Change Mitigation via Afforestation, Reforestation and Deforestation Avoidance: And What About Adaptation to Environmental Change?” The article is coauthored by Christopher Reyer, Martin Guericke and Pierre L. Ibisc of the Faculty of Forest and Environment, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, in Germany.

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Categories: RTT Archives

RTT in the New York Times

The New York Times recently mentioned Reforest the Tropics and its Director, Dr. Herster Barres, in an article focusing on a local chapter of GreenDrinks International, a social networking group of eco-minded professionals.  Read the NYT article here.

Also, read a related posting on CT Green Scene hereCT Green Scene is a green-minded web site edited by Heather Burns-DeMelo, a co-organizer of the Fairfield County GreenDrinks and a friend of Reforest the Tropics.

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