Urban Forests: Creating Carbon Sinks, Energy Barriers and Economic Development. by Sacred Seedlings
Urban forestry and agro-forestry can help minimize cities' contribution to climate change, while making our cities more resilient.
Cities around the globe are home to about 50 percent of the world’s population, but cities generate 80 percent of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, not to mention other forms of pollution.
Elsewhere in the world, deforestation is responsible for about 20 percent of the rise in Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere. We see an opportunity to boost the capacity of our cities to serve as carbon sinks, cut energy demands and the associated emissions, and spark economic development and job creation around the world.
The urban forestry aspect of our program can help minimize the impact of cities on climate change, while making our cities more resilient.
“It’s in the cities that the battle to tackle climate change will be won or lost,” said former London Mayor Ken Livingstone.
Sacred Seedlings www.SacredSeedlings.com is a multidimensional, international forestry program. It also is an economic development program that generates clean and green jobs.
We promote forest conservation, reforestation, and urban forestry projects around the globe. When possible, we coordinate carbon offset certification and funding for our stakeholders.
Sacred Seedlings is being developed in cooperation with indigenous communities around the globe. When possible, we secure projects that will benefit their lands and create employment opportunities in regions where unemployment and poverty are problematic.
What actions do you propose?
- Urban Forestry Pilot Plans for at least 1 million seedlings/trees. We will initially emphasize “synergy” sites around buildings and homes in warmer climates, such as Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Dallas, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Mumbai, Dehli, Darwin, Johannesburg and beyond. Such tree placements can block the sun and wind in efforts to lower energy demands and the carbon footprint of these structures. Urban trees also can help lower overall city temperatures, which generate additional benefits beyond the project sites.
- Agro-Forestry. As a bonus, urban and rural sites can serve the triple role of carbon absorption, energy minimization and food production. We will include agriculture projects in the shade at the base of these trees, which will add to the carbon sink and help reduce food transportation costs locally.
- Reforestation. We will emphasize tropical and sub-tropical zones, but pursue opportunities in all regions.
- Forest Conservation.
Who will take these actions?
The founders of Sacred Seedlings will build partnerships with stakeholders around the globe and secure land-use agreements with national governments, local governments, private landowners, farmers, ranchers, universities, commercial and residential property owners and tribal governments.
We are recruiting a board of directors that consists of power brokers and influencers from around the world, including indigenous leaders. With their help, we will solicit additional land-use agreements, grants, sponsorships, and donations.
We also are developing relationships with indigenous groups and universities around the world to help with program supervision and project management.
Where will these actions be taken?
Cities around the globe that apply and qualify. All that we ask is that local stakeholders help us identify and secure commitments for synergy sites and open space sites for at least 100,000 trees.
Phase II and III:
- Public lands.
- Private lands.
- Highway and railway medians and easements
- Burned areas.
- Diseased areas.
- Clear cuts.
- Tribal lands.
- Schools and Universities.
- Power plants.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
Each tree in the tropics removes about 50 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. In temperate zones, where the growing seasons are truncated, carbon uptake is lower.
Depending on the climate and the tree, the equivalent of one hundred hectares of plantation trees (181,500 trees) will absorb about 30 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare/year. According to this conservative estimate, our first million trees will absorb 165.28 tons of CO2 per year through this project.
The agro aspect of the project will offset additional carbon as fruits and vegetables all absorb carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, many of these urban trees will lower energy demands in buildings, which will reduce carbon footprints of buildings by varying amounts.
The carbon dioxide availability is higher in urban areas than surrounding areas, which should add to the uptake potential of these trees.
What are other key benefits?
- Absorb carbon dioxide gases, while minimizing the heat-island effect in many urban areas.
- Strategically placing more trees near residential and commercial properties to help us minimize energy use.
- Restore and preserve critical habitat to endangered species.
- Create agro-forestry opportunities to maximize the value and impact of resourceful land use.
- Improve local and global air quality
- Control flooding by minimizing runoff and topsoil loss.
- Use tree-planting events to help educate communities about carbon neutrality and personal energy management.
- Create jobs and a healthier environment for business.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Once we secure land-use agreements and funding for three pilot projects, this program will sustain itself as it grows incrementally with grants, sponsorships and carbon offset funding (voluntary and mandated markets). The investment necessary to procure three pilot projects and secure funding includes:
- Board development costs……………………….…$5,000
- Project development costs………………………..$20,000
- Sponsorship development costs…………………..$20,000
Total Seed Money = $45,000
Timeline for Phase I Initiation:
- Board development (now – 12/31/13)
- Project development (now – 3/1/14)
- Sponsorship/grant development (now – 6/1/14)
Timeline for Phase II and III:
- Project development (now – ongoing)
- Sponsorship development (now – ongoing)