Plant More Moringa - Co2 Offset Program
When we started Nobilified, we set out to revolutionize the art world by providing affordable hand painted artwork to the world. Since then we have grown as people and as a company. While we do not create a lot of waste compared to other industries, we took a look at the impact of our work on the world. Things like the use of styrofoam to package paintings to shipping paintings around the world by air as well as flights for employees to travel. Things started to add up. When we really looked into it, we realized that our footprint was a lot larger than we had expected. We decided to swap the styrofoam packaging for recycled cardboard and paper and see if paintings would still arrive safely. Fortunately they did. We then thought about offsetting the carbon emissions generated through all of the air travel. We were very fortunate to find an opportunity planting moringa trees in Burkina Faso. As of October 2020, we have planted 30,000 moringa trees. Our conservative estimates are that each tree will absorb 5kg co2 per year. By 2022, our goal is to help plant a total of 100,000 moringa trees in Burkina Faso.
The Sahel is considered a hot-spot of climate change and is portrayed as one of the world’s most vulnerable regions because of its low societal adaptive capacity. Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa is under threat from rising CO2 levels, resulting in temperature rise, inter/intra annual rainfall variability and prolonged droughts. However, agricultural productivity needs to adapt to satisfy increasing food demand, and for this reason:
Our partner Dr. Jorge Alvar-Beltrán, PhD, has spent the last 3 years working with climate-resilient crops in Burkina Faso. Searching for crops that can adapt and cope with increasing abiotic stresses (drought tolerant species, resistant to heat-stress and poor soil conditions), just like having highly nutritional properties.
Moringa oleifera trees, also known as drumstick trees, is a fast growing specie, drought resistant, and has been crowned the champion plant in terms of CO2 absorption. Like most deep-rooted trees, it also prevents soil erosion and increases water retention of the soil. On top of that, the yields of the plant in the form of seeds (to make oil or be eaten whole) and leaves (cooked like spinach; with high iron, protein, calcium and vitamins A and C content) can be sold at the market to generate an income for the crop growers.
How we work
Planting Moringa requires good preparation and hard work, particularly in harsh environments. Before planting the trees, the land needs to be fenced off in order to prevent cattle from roaming in and eating the young trees. Once fenced, the land is prepared by digging holes which are evenly spaced out and filled with compost. Each tree is grown individually from a seed, initially in a nursery and then transferred to the plot on the land. We plant during the wet season in order to reduce the amount of water needed for the plants root system to develop, but we also have a pump and a water tank to storage and irrigate the cuttings during the dry season.
Moringa captures more carbon than an average tree and as the tree grows it is expected to absorb more and more CO2 each year. According to our calculations, each Moringa tree is expected to sequester 5kg of C02 annually.
In the Sahel region, desertification is a real issue that became apparent as a result of lack of rainfall, overgrazing and deforestation. The effects are strongly felt by more than 200 million people living within this region; lack of crops and income results in an ever more impoverished population at a greater than ever risk of famine. Moringa oleifera has a an extensive root system and losses its leaves during the dry season to reduce evapotranspiration, hence using water more effectively. It requires low nitrogen inputs and therefore it’s a tree that can be used in water and soil conservation strategies.
Moringa oleifera is a great source of nutrition: dried leaves can be used in cooking and they have a high content of iron, calcium, protein, potassium, and vitamins C/A. All of these nutrients are often found in reduced quantities (if at all) in foods typically consumed by these populations, but they are necessary for a healthy diet.
By planting a Moringa tree, you are not only creating a carbon cache, you are setting in motion the need for someone to dig a whole, plant a seed, water the tree, manicure it, harvest the leaves and seed pods, process it to eat or press for oil, sell the highly nutritive products at a local market, reinvest profits into planting more trees. Our Moringa project includes women in the transformation and marketing processes.
As you can imagine, this creates the need for many different types of work. These are jobs that pay well according to local standards (x 2 for producers and x 3 for technician) and are secure injecting capital into the local economy.
In rural areas of Burkina Faso, nearby Bobo Dioulasso, 1 hectare (with 10,000 trees) of land has been fenced off for growing Moringa. Working with a trust of local experts, technicians and farmers who have been trained on Moringa oleifera cultivation, the goal is to plant 10 ha, equivalent to 100,000 trees, by 2022. The benefits to the local population and the wider population are vast: generating jobs, empowering women in new market dynamics, reducing soil erosion and offsetting up to 500 tonnes of CO2 annually by 2022 (equivalent emissions of 500 passengers making the London-New York journey).
Living in today’s world, it is impossible not to come across the impacts of global warming, we believe we can all have an impact.
If you would like to find out more information about this initiative, visit www.plantmoremoringa.com or for a more visual experience to see what all of this looks like find us on instagram @plantmoremoringa