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Treesolution planted with revolutionary Groasis Tech helps solve food/climate problem thru planting 2 B ha manmade deserts with fruit trees


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Summary

"ITALIC TEXTS" ARE NEW FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS OF THE JUDGES

Whilst the concepts of afforestation and agroforestry are not novel, the Groasis Technology  with the cellulose Groasis Greenboxx is literally “ground breaking” . The proposed holistic/ integrated approach (the Treesolution) is novel. With until now available technologies there was no instrument to restore the 2 B hectares desert like wasteland.

The revolutionary Groasis Technology is an inexpensive sustainable solution to plant degraded and eroded land with trees. It is the only solution to do this without using energy and irrigation. It offers a significant economic and social impact for developing and developed countries. Its primary application is restoring dry regions which have lost their bodies of water, vegetation and wildlife, and currently offer limited natural, social and economic value. It is especially useful in desert, arid, semi-arid and Mediterranean climates where it is virtually impossible to successfully plant without using (drip) irrigation – which requires large quantities of energy and water.

Humanity created 2 billion hectares (5 B acres) of wasteland over the last 2,000 years. (World Resource Institute).  Our proposition is to change this area into productive land through using the  Groasis Technology. We call it “The Treesolution”.

We believe that we should not solve one problem – climate change – as a standalone. The problems that we face are connected and integrated.
Therefore we believe it necessary to focus on an integrated solution for the 7 Challenges that we believe mankind faces nowadays. They are:
•    Erosion
•    Poverty
•    Food crisis
•    Climate change
•    Unemployment
•    Rural-urban migration
•    Sinking ground water levels

The 7 Challenges can be partly or wholly solved if we plant the 2 B hectares of manmade deserts with economical interesting trees – producing fruit, oil, wood, medicines - on accessible areas and ecological interesting trees on difficult to access areas.


 


What actions do you propose?

Groasis will continue to play the role of incubator of the actions.

Over the past decade, since 2003, Groasis developed the technology and executed demonstration projects in 18 desert like countries: Argentina - Bahrain – Chile - China - Dubai – Ecuador – Ethiopia – France - India – Jordan – Kenya - Kuwait – Mexico - Oman – Qatar – Saudi Arabia – Spain – USA. Experiments involved c.300,000 plants and trees with overall 90% survival rate. The Groasis Technology is available for immediate implementation.

Background information and visuals from these projects, which show that the Groasis Technology is successful in desert like countries, can be found here:
1.    Milestones that demonstrate the proof of concept can be found in 12 reports written by scientists, which acknowledge that the Groasis Technology works.  Reports can be found here in Appendices 6 to 17; Explanation about technology can be read in Appendices 1 to 5.
2.    Over 100 videos in 11 languages of tree plantations can be found athttp://www.youtube.com/user/Groasiswaterboxx ;  
3.    15 videos in 5 languages showing amazing results with vegetables - 85% water saving with only 16% less crop - can be found athttps://www.youtube.com/user/Groasisvegetables ;
4.    Over 5,000 photos in our photo library at our website in 5 languages.

Now that these c. 300,000 plants and trees have been successfully planted, larger-scale projects will begin.

The key-actors involved in developing projects with the Groasis Technology, and eventually realising the vision of the Treesolution, are:

1.    Governments (national or local such as cities; Groasis is carrying out trials in Washington DC, they want a 100% canopy recovery within 25 years from now) – can create a framework which benefits reforestation projects and can develop projects themselves given the benefits for their society (bio-diversity, employment, food, urban-rural  migration, tax revenues).
2.    Investors – will be made aware of the benefits and risks of realising afforestation  projects with the Groasis Technology; trees offer lower risk compared to other investments, improve a portfolio's risk-adjusted returns by offering low correlation to other asset classes and offer a better long term ROI. Income can be generated from timber, annual harvest, secondary products, CO2 capture credits and increased value of land.
3.    Financing institutes, banks – similar to investors, have limited appetite for innovative solutions on long-term large-scale projects. Groasis is confident that they will become more receptive once successful, large scale projects are running.
4.    NGO’s and philantropists – are asked to start using the Groasis Technology so land can be restored/protected and desertification halted whilst bringing economic, social and ecological wellbeing.
5.    Universities – have a role to fulfil in the validation of the proof of concept (see existing reports), and in the certification of future large scale projects.
6.    Land owners – will use the Groasis Technology to increase the value of their degraded and eroded land and generate ongoing revenues.
7.    300 million small farmers – will use the Groasis Technology to increase their food production and improve their livelihood.
8.    Consumers – could use the Groasis Technology in their own garden and can act as a driving force to change government and multinational policies regarding reforestation and land use.
9.    MIT – Groasis participates in this competition in the hope that MIT could help generate publicity about the Groasis Technology and the Treesolution. We also believe that MIT could create links with actors who could play a role in the development of large scale projects.

By July 2015 two countries will likely announce the implementation of the Groasis Technology on a very big scale. We are hopeful that other countries will follow and that these large scale projects are the start of realising the full Treesolution. Unfortunately Groasis cannot publish further details due to Confidentiality Agreements being signed. Groasis would be able to discuss this in more detail with a select committee.

Groasis believes that financing of afforestation on a large scale will eventually be based on social and/or economical aspects.
1.    Social: as soon as food prices double, triple, or quadruple, or if hunger starts, our focus of where to spend money will change. Food security will become the first priority to solve for governments. The existing tensions in the world may probably not be seen separate from problems relating to poverty. Food prices have doubled and even tripled in the past decade according to the FAO food price index . However, where do governments want to produce more food if all the fertile land (except the Amazon-basin, Congo and Borneo) is already used? They will need to convert the 2 billion hectares of manmade deserts into productive land.
2.    Social-economic: the damages caused by climate change over the next 60 years year will cost society more than the 4.7 T Euros (note: this is including over 50% costs for employment) which is required as the total Treesolution investment. This example shows the costs of doing nothing. California has been nearly completely deforested over the last centuries and this once green area is changing into the next manmade desert. Rainfall has decreased and by reforesting California the process can be reversed (trees are causing rain). The drought in California, and many other manmade deserts is not going to be cyclical but structural. All manmade deserts have gone through the similar phase which California is experiencing today.
3.    Macro-economic: the price of implementing the Treesolution (or smaller scale afforestation projects with the Groasis Technology) should be seen as an investment rather than a cost. This means that the money will follow the economical rules. With the Groasis Technology we can use currently worthless wasteland and plant it for an average cost of 2,360 Euros per hectare (~1,320 USD per acre). 5 Years after being planted the land will be productive and its value will increase 3 to 5 times – and if food prices double again, 5 to 10 times - compared to the acquisition price. This means that the investment including planting costs and maintenance can be earned back through capital growth. This model opens possibilities for funds (project developers) who want to step in for 3 to 5 years, and then sell to parties who make money with the planted area by harvesting annual crops.
4.    Micro-economic: The costs of planting a tree with the Groasis Technology are less than 5 Euros (~7 USD). Because the land is wasteland, the capital costs for the investment in the land are relatively low. This way the investment per tree will certainly remain below 7 Euros (~10 USD). By planting trees which are producing economically interesting products – oil – bio fuel – charcoal – fruit – medicines – etc. – the project owner can earn revenues of more than 7 Euros (~10 USD) during a tree’s lifetime. The business case is clear and it is good.

We cannot plant these degrading areas with the traditional technology today for four simple reasons:

1.    It is very costly;
2.    It requires a lot of water;
3.    It has to be on already (expensive) productive land;
4.    The survival rate is low if no (drip) irrigation is used.

The Groasis Technology allows mankind to replant man-made deserts or other arid areas
•    in a cost-effective way – projects require approximately 94% lower capex and opex when compared to projects with drip irrigation (over 10 years); with low water consumption – trees planted require on average 90% less water than trees planted with drip irrigation; If we would use drip irrigation to plant these trees on the 2 billion hectares, the water stock is not sufficient to plant the area and we would need hundreds of electricity plants for the pumps and 4 billion kilometres (2.5 billion miles) of drip irrigation tubes. With the Groasis Technology we can plant this area without using energy for pumps, without installing billions of kilometres of irrigation tubes while using instead its sustainable cellulose Greenboxxes;
The following figures highlight the differences between the Groasis Technology and drip irrigation:
-    Financial savings during the first decade: 5,353 Euros (7,494 USD) per hectare (94,81% lower combined capex and opex)
-    Water saving during the first decade: 3,638,000litres (99,67%) per hectare
-    For calculations and graphics: see Appendices no 3 and 4 .
•    on degraded land – the Groasis Technology allows to plant in deserts and on cheap arid, non-productive land. Traditional technologies struggle in such environments and would require us to use expensive productive land; The existing tree planting methods need fertile land with regular rainfall, or drip irrigation. This means that the land is expensive and requires a significant investment. Trees are a difficult investment on expensive land as it takes long before they are productive and generate cash flow.
•    scaling capacities - not only can we plant without using energy and irrigation. Aside of this we can plant 2 to 4 times faster than today – trees can be planted year round instead of only 2 to 6 months per year; With current seasonally planting technologies nurseries, machinery, people, etc, are used inefficiently. Time to plant doubles to quadruples. Through automation of the planting (by using the Groasis Capillary drill) we can speed up the process and plant trees in deserts as fast as we harvest corn in the USA Mid-West.
•    with micro-greenhouse capacities - the cellulose Groasis Greenboxx works as a cooler during summer and as a heater during winter. Mycorrhizae, necessary for the roots in order to eat and drink, die in direct sun but underneath the Greenboxx, protected against UV, wind and extreme temperatures, they live and multiply fast. This way the roots can do their work and feed the plant.
•    with well thought of aftercare - the biggest problem for after the planting is the protection of the tree. The Growsafe Telescoprotexx is a revolutionary plant protector against cold, heat, storms, sand storms, radiation and grazing animals. The “sleeve” model makes the costprice and transport price low, the telescopic capacity enables the protection to “grow” with the tree.


The positive effects of using the Groasis Technology to replant arid, unproductive areas are visible whatever the size of the realised project.
1.    Erosion – We can re-plant the world and stop erosion;
2.    Poverty – agroforestry creates an economic boost for the developing world and for all companies/nations involved. Projects realised with the Groasis Technology are profitable with a high IRR and NPV;
3.    Food crisis – agroforestry can produce significant quantities of additional food supplies. Trees can play an important part of the solution of the food problem. Annual crops cannot grow without irrigation in arid areas. Fruit trees can grow without irrigation in areas with prolonged periods of drought;
4.    Climate change – 2 billion ha reforested deserts can help absorb 34 to 50 billion tonnes of CO₂ annually, up to twice mankind’s current annual CO₂ emissions. Realising smaller individual projects will help grow towards this goal;
5.    Unemployment – agroforestry creates one direct/indirect job per hectare - 2 billion extra jobs can be generated when planting 2 billion ha over the next 60 years;
6.    Rural-urban migration – people live where they work. By creating a sound economy in rural areas, fewer people migrate to cities;
7.    Sinking ground water levels – trees stop erosion, make a sponge from the soil and create rising water levels.
The Treesolution is not a cost: it is an investment that can help us solving the 7 Challenges partly or wholly, while making money with it.

Appendix 2  is an easy template to help calculate the indication of an investment of planting trees with the Groasis Technology.
 


Who will take these actions?

Groasis’s marketing approach starts with a break through initiative in 2015. We will plant 5 impressive “Groasis Icons” Projects. The “Groasis Icons” are financed by multinational corporations, who use them as PR-projects. The partners will use social media to include the masses of people supporting. Here are the “Groasis Icons” initiatives:


1) restore Galapagos with the “Galapagos Verde 2050” Project; Read the plan “Appendix 18 Green Galapagos 2050” here
2) restore Easter Island with the “Easter island Yellow Egg” Project;
3) cover the sides of the walking roads of “Camino de Santiago de Compostela” with oak trees;
4) plant the 6,437 km (4,000 miles) “Marco Polo Silk Road” Project along its original route;
5) plant the USA “Route 66” from east to west;

 

Groasis’s business approach – based on needs and priority - is through different customer segmentations. These defined key-actors - already mentioned in the previous chapter - are:
1)    Governments
2)    Investors
3)    Financial institutions, banks
4)    NGO’s & philanthropists
5)    Universities
6)    Landowners
7)    300 Million small farmers
8)    Consumers


Groasis appeals to governments (especially the 18 countries where we are already active), NGOs (e.g. Clinton Foundation, Charles Darwin Foundation), organisations who claim sustainability is important to them (e.g. Adidas, McDonald’s Corporation, Alsea of Mexico, Unilever, FedEx – who are all 2013 CDP forests program sector leaders or runners up ).


100 years ago there were no asphalt roads, electric lights,  basic schools, clean drinking water from the tap, sewage systems and nobody had a phone. Within a century we have arranged all those issues almost everywhere and consider them “ normal”. Looking at the necessity to solve the 7 Challenges, the Treesolution will hopefully be implemented before 2075 with tens of thousands of partners. These hundreds of companies are already the first adaptors of the understanding of importance of trees for our life..
 


Where will these actions be taken?

Groasis plants in 18 countries now.

The marketing and commercial actions take place in the Groasis head office in Holland and eventually in branch offices elsewhere. Groasis’s  education approach is located near the implementing places.

The “Groasis Institute” will eventually cooperate with app. 25 agricultural universities worldwide. In order to develop this cooperation, Groasis Institute will have local offices nearby their partners. Groasis Institute has organized the first Groasis Academy in 2012. It organizes the next edition of the Groasis Academy in November 2014 followed by the Groasis Academy Masterclass in February 2015 in Eye Amsterdam. These events are organised to spread and share the vision of the Treesolution, create visibility about the opportunities of the technology, provide hands-on information on project development and as a networking opportunity. Over 1,000 visitors; politicians, captains of industry, NGO’s, project developers, scientists and ambassadors are expected to attend the event in Amsterdam-Holland.

In the summer of 2015 the Groasis Academy will be organized in California, USA.  


The “on the ground”  actions can be taken in all manmade deserts. Manmade deserts are areas that were covered with trees, have been cut over time and afterwards people put goats and sheep. These animals prevented saplings to re-generate. Slowly the ground cover was destroyed and the sun started to dry out the top layer of the soil. While drying out, seeds didn’t germinate anymore and plant cover vanished. Then the soil started to erode. Rain showers rinsed the top soil to lower areas and minerals were washed out. Sand and soil storms finalized the job. In the Bible, Jordan and Palestina were the “land of milk and honey”. The lions that the Romans used in the Colosseo, came from the Middle East and the top 1,500 km in the North of Africa. All these areas are manmade deserts now, however, if trees once grew there, they can grow there again.


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

The ‘cleaning capacity’ of our planet is smaller than total CO₂ emissions. The result is that CO₂ concentration in the atmosphere rises. By lifting nature’s photosynthesis capacity, mankind can disconnect all CO₂ molecules from fossil fuels into productive C and O atoms.


1)    Annual CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels are just over 30 billion tonnes ;
2)    Forests absorb average 7,5 tonnes CO₂ per ha – FAO, 2001;
3)    New insight: forests absorb on average 50% more CO₂ today than 50 years ago - University of Boulder, 2013;
4)    The University of Hohenheim, 2013, published the concept of "carbon farming".

Clean present and past pollution
Hohenheim Uv. published that the ‘absorption capacity’ of 1 ha is 25 tonnes CO₂ per year. Planting an additional 2 B hectares of afforestation disconnects additional 50 B tonnes of CO₂ annually. More than the total annual net CO₂ emissions of 30 billion tonnes. It means that with the Treesolution we can clean both CO₂ pollution from the present and the past.
 


What are other key benefits?

With the  Groasis Technology to implement the Treesolution, we


-stop erosion;
-stop sand storms and create a better environment to live in;
-help rise the underground fresh water tables;
-create extra 2 billion well paid jobs;
-reduce criminality
-help prevent the process of economic refugees;
-reverse the migration process from urban to rural areas;
-produce ten trillion tonnes of extra food;
-neutralize CO₂ pollution to 0%;
-defend the interests of nature and create room for wildlife;
-restore the balance between the interests of Man and Nature
-change worthless land into productive land, this process creates capital growth, this process creates collateral to finance rural economic development;
-create an economic boost in the world;
-create wealth;

Most important: we create hope, well being and happiness.
 


What are the proposal’s costs?

The Treesolution in combination with the Groasis Technology - as this enables us to plant wasteland without using irrigation - has no costs, it is a profit generating investment.

All benefits of the previous paragraphs can be reached with a money making business model. From the investment over 50% will be spent on wages. This way the investments itself already cause considerable economical stimulation in the countries where it is implemented.

-Investment per ha is 2,360 Euros for 500 trees (1,320 USD per acre, 1 ha = 2,5 acre)
-Capital growth per ha of wasteland after being transferred into productive land,  is estimated between 5,000 to 10,000 Euros per ha; that is 2 to 4 times the investment, which will make financing easier;
-Investment per tree – including land - is less than 7 Euros (10 USD). As soon as the tree has produced more than 50 kilos of fruit, he has paid its investment and the owner starts to make a profit.


Appendix 2 helps calculating estimated costs for projects.
 


Time line

2010 to 2014: proof of concept delivered;
2015: start of two highly visible big projects;
2015 to 2025: develop financing models – determine the utile species - create nurseries – scale up the planting speed – determine high potential areas – start of plantations;
2025 to 2075: world wide spread of 6,000 local producing Greenboxx production lines – fully automized high speed planting programs – tissue culture development programs of high potential trees (we need 398,550,900 trees each week) - involvement of governmental programs – determine and develop all rural areas on earth – raise food production to be able to meet the necessity of food in 2075 when we have 12,5 to 15 billion people – develop cool chains and logistic solutions for the production – develop thousands of new villages and/or cities nearby the production areas – etc.

The growth of the world population to 12,5 to 15 billion people around 2075 will change the world drastically. Just as we put roads everywhere to fulfil our transport needs, we will put fruit trees everywhere to fullfil our food needs. The Treesolution will be part of this change of the world. We simply cannot afford to let the 2 billion hectares of once fertile land, be wasted and unproductive. 5 to 7,5 billion extra population in 2075 compared to the status of 2014, will also mean that we have huge challenges to create employment and means of income for these people. Seed crops like corn or wheat cannot be planted in desert like areas without using irrigation, only trees can grow there.

The Treesolution is able to meet the developments of the population growth that follows this timeline. The proof of concept has been delivered. It is ready to be implemented and used now. It is ready to be implemented on the scale that is necessary. It is not a cost, but an investment. So it is doable and payable.
 


Related proposals

At the date of subscription:

From “Land use” 4 proposals (Naresh / Crcsolutions.org / Serish and Farmajam) see a solution for several problems through using agriculture.  The difference with the Treesolution proposal is that we not only  analyze the problem but also offer a cutting edge proven solution – the Groasis Technology - to solve it.

From “US Carbon price” almost all proposals are related. Financing of the Treesolution could well be done through taxing fossil fuel use.

However, climate change is only one of the 7 Challenges to be solved in the coming 50 years. Fresh water, food, jobs, they are all important for human beings. I propose that we look at the challenges for Mankind with a broader perspective and try to find a solution to be implemented on such a scale that it can help us solving – partly or as a whole - the 7 Challenges in an integrated way.


References

Supporting scientific documents – click on this link to open and read the documents that are listed below

Background of the technology
Appendix 1 Explanation of the Groasis Technology
Appendix 2 Groasis disposable biodegradable Greenboxx Project Investment Calculation template
Appendix 3 Comparison Groasis Technology vs drip irrigation in graphic
Appendix 4 Comparison Groasis Technology vs drip irrigation in excel
Appendix 5 Photos and video links of Groasis Technology

Scientific support
Appendix 6 Report of  experiments in Galapagos June-September 2012 by Charles Darwin Foundation
Appendix 7 Final Report of  experiments in Galapagos by Charles Darwin Foundation
Appendix 8 Report from Kuwait Oasis results planting in Kuwait Desert
Appendix 9 Results of fruits and timber trees Agua Vida Naturaleza Project with UPSE University Ecuador
Appendix 10 Resultado de arboles frutales y maderables en Agua, Vida y Naturaleza con la Universidad de UPSE Ecuador
Appendix 11 Universidad de Valladolid Espana reporte Los Desiertos Verdes Octubre 2011
Appendix 12 Universidad de Valladolid Spain report of The Green Deserts Project March 2012
Appendix 13 Universidad de Valladolid Spain report of the Green Deserts project April 2014
Appendix 14 The influence of the Groasis Waterboxx on temperature and relative humidity in graphs
Appendix 15 Report effect water loss through evaporation with Groasis Waterboxx
Appendix 16 Universidad de Valladolid reporte Los Desiertos Verdes Marzo 2013
Appendix 17 University of Valladolid report of The Green Deserts Project March 2013

First “Groasis Icons” project
Appendix 18 Green Galapagos 2050

Summary of must see videos about anti-desertification and reforestation Groasis Technology:

Groasis has over 100 videos in its YouTube channelhttp://www.youtube.com/user/Groasiswaterboxx ; On this list below Groasis has selected the must see videos in order to fully understand the Groasis Technology.

Explanation why trees do not automatically start to grow in dry areas:

Explanation


Explanation about the important function of capillarity in the soil:

Explanation

Explanation of the principles of the Groasis Waterboxx:

Explanation

Explanation of the temperature balancing effects of the Groasis Waterboxx:

Explanation

How to create perfect roots that grow 10 meters deep, so that trees survive in dry circumstances:

How

How to plant trees with the Groasis Technology on wasteland, on dry and eroded land and in deserts:

How

How to scale up planting trees with the Groasis Technology in hot, dry and rocky areas:

How

Results of planting grapes with the Groasis Technology in a dry-growing orchard in Napa Valley – California:


Results

Results of anti-desertification through reforestation with Groasis Technology in Middle-East deserts:

Results

 

Read Pieter Hoff's book about the Treesolution

Visit our website and learn more about the Groasis Technology!