Bagepalli CDM Reforestation Programme
21 years back, ADATS realised that timely rain dependent Field Crops were not suited for drought prone regions we work in. Small and marginal farmers needed to switch to more hardy Tree Crops.
From 1996, Member Coolie families started putting aside small patches of their land to plant tamarind and mango saplings. ADATS only provided technical assistance to procure good saplings. In 11 years from 1996 to 2007, they planted a total of 74,254 saplings, but survival rate was very poor at 26%.
In April 1998, we registered the first avatar of this project, the "Bagepalli Tamarind Project", as an Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ) Project certified by the DoE, US government. Science to calculate sequestration was provided by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
In mid 2007, we appointed TÜV SÜD, München, to validate the project. A lot of ground was covered in the desk study and first validation visit, but our PDD was nowhere near completion. We hadn't followed the rigour that CDM demanded. Discrete plots were delineated once again, GPS coordinates and plot details fed into a highly specialised in-house developed software, baseline carbon stock recorded, etc. The entire effort, including software development, project preparation, validation, registration, etc. was totally financed by the Coolie Sangha with zero external funds.
The second Validation by TÜV SÜD took place in 2010. In 2011, we finally registered one of the world's first Afforestation/Reforestation CDM Project to plant trees on 8,933 hectares of rain fed dry lands belonging to 8,107 small peasants. Click here for details on the UNFCCC website.
Project implementation was largely self-financed by 1,296 participating farmer families from 155 villages. Alf Bjørseth, a private philanthropist from Norway, supplemented their effort with grants totalling ₹ 7.2 million from 2007-2010. Growing farmer friendly fruit, fodder, fuel and manure trees on parched lands was a painstaking and challenging task that Coolie Sangha families took up with passion and enthusiasm. During the September rains every year, they dug 1 cubic metre pits and filled them with sand, red earth and manure. They planted Mango, Cashew, Silver Oak, Tamarind, Jamun and other saplings of their choice, and tied thorny branches to protect against grazing. Every year they replaced saplings that had died in the summer heat and undertook fresh planting.
They installed 280 pre-fabricated tanks on their fields, and hired bullock carts to haul water from ponds. Each sapling was hand watered with two buckets of water, twice a week, for 5-7 summer months every year. TNO, a research institute from the Netherlands, assisted with an experiment to place Rockwool slabs under the saplings, at the time of planting, to retain the hand poured water for a few extra days.
But whatever they did, more than half the planted saplings died every year due to the scorching heat and uncontrolled grazing. Many families gave up; new persons came forward. In the ten-year period from 2007-08 to 2016-17, a staggering total of 616,474 saplings were planted. Only 56,377 (9%) survived.
In 2015, we decided to transition the project from CDM to Gold Standard. Click here to access key project documents at the GS MARKIT Registry website.
After re-registering, the project underwent the first Verification. 26,350 GS VERs have been issued to 509 farmers who planted on 1,710 acres in 134 villages. Click here to download a .kml file and view each planted plot on Google Earth.
ADATS is looking for potential Carbon Buyers for these Forestry tonnes. Every single Rupee we get as Carbon Revenue will be given to these 509 farmer families as a reward for the environmental service they have provided through their heroic battle against Climate Change. Of the 1,296 families who participated, only 39% made it. We believe that receiving Carbon Revenues will incentivise many more to plant and protect farmer friendly trees on their holdings.
To view GS VERs issued so far, click here.
A snapshot of the project activity and the CO2 fixation is as follows:
||Bagepalli CDM Reforestation Programme
|GS Project ID
|Project Crediting Period
||1 April 2005 to 31 March 2035
|Project Area Planted so far
||1 April 2005 to 31 April 2015
|CO2 Fixation for the monitoring period
|Verified CO2 certificates
In December 2017 we sold 3,000 tonnes to NUMERCO, London. In the first week of February 2018 we distributed the carbon revenue to the 509 farmer families in proportion to the number of trees that have survived - i.e. the volume of Greenhouse Gases they have sequestered on their fields.
In December 2018 NUMERCO, London once again bought another 1,810 tonnes. In February 2019 FairClimateFund, the Netherlands, bought 972 tonnes.
The below table shows the vintage years of issued VERs:
Buffer of 20%
For the current planting, the next issuance after 5 years, in 2020, will be about 20,000 tCO2. We expect that there will be more planting now that farmers actually see carbon revenues, but 5 years will be too small a time to measure any serious sequestration.