What is The GIE Plan for Acrocomia in Costa Rica?
The cultivation of the native Acrocomia aculeata tree has the potential to significantly contribute to Costa Rica becoming the first carbon neutral nation on earth. Acrocomia is a palm tree with fruit that yields a system of solutions because it can be planted on degraded lands, traps significant amounts of carbon dioxide, requires a very low amount of agrochemical inputs or fertilizers, replenishes the soil naturally, aids in afforestation, reduces soil erosion, does not compete with food crops, and can be cultivated by landholders of all sizes. Beyond that, Acrocomia produces 8 different products that all have an existing market value such as; organic fertilizer, protein rich animal feed, glycerol, cosmetic and pharmaceutical feedstock, charcoal, food products, solid fuel for heat, gas, or electricity. This in turn creates jobs for small farmers, for rural areas, and for areas that do not have alternative crops to grow. Until recently, Acrocomia also known as (Coyol, Macauba, Coco, and other names) has only been used in a traditional manner; however, due to the latest scientific research and development of the entire value chain such as; consistent and uniform germination, nursery design and management, successful implementation of improved fruit processing systems and harvesting efficiencies’, the key to unlocking the full potential of Acrocomia was developed. These rapid advancements have established Acrocomia as the new and highly competitive biofuel crop that can become a vitally important component for the future of Costa Rica’s sustainable economy.
Why Does Costa Rica Need a Plan for Acrocomia?
The studies, reports, proposals, drafts, and committees are quite clear about the direction we must move towards, however; this requires a coordinated effort amongst all of Costa Rica, and this is why a plan is needed.
A plan that combines the best of our collective knowledge, in the fields of renewable energy, agriculture, forestry, economics, climatology, ecology, biology, sociology and sustainability.
A plan that will combine this valuable knowledge into coordinated action that integrates the research, land, seeds, farmers, installation, maintenance, cultivation, processing, refining, transportation, technology, and policy.
This is why we need a plan for Acrocomia. Please consider joining our effort to create a sustainable future for all of Costa Rica.
Planting Acrocomia provides a domestic and renewable energy supply
The transition from fossil fuels to sustainable fuels is well underway. From international commercial flights to ground transportation, and biopower electricity generation, the shift towards policies and technologies that support renewable energy is continuing to rapidly grow across the planet. GIE and its’ partners’ address these challenges of bioenergy production and its’ sustainable use by offering an innovative plan for coordinated progress towards low-carbon energy independence and economic sustainability.
Planting Acrocomia reduces carbon emissions
Acrocomia significantly reduces carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases by acting as a carbon sink that captures CO2 and utilizes it in the leaves, trunks, and roots, for up to 70 years. During these years Acrocomia uses the CO2 to produce fruit that contain oil which can be made into biodiesel, this in turn improves air quality within San Jose and further reduces CO2 emissions because every barrel of oil grown is another barrel not imported and subsequently burned.
Planting Acrocomia supports reforestation efforts
Acrocomia supports reforestation efforts because it does not displace valuable forests and because it grows well on open lands where the possibilities for agriculture or livestock are limited.
Planting Acrocomia supports the environment
Acrocomia is native to Costa Rican and is ideally suited to the existing climate, a characteristic proven to be vitally important to the success of biofuel plantations throughout the world. In addition, Acrocomia grows on a diversity of soil types, can tolerate drought and fire, has relatively few pests or pathogens, and shows a high plasticity with regard to environmental conditions.
Planting Acrocomia revitalizes the soil
Acrocomia is a member of a special group of plants known as Nitrogen Fixing plants. This allows them to actually put nutrients back into the soil revitalizing the earth upon which they grow. Through a partnership with symbiotic organisms in their roots, Acrocomia plants can turn atmospheric nitrogen into nitrogen fertilizers useful to themselves but also available to their neighbors over time through root die back, leaf fall, and chop and drop plantation management. Nitrogen fixing plants are a vital component of rebuilding soil fertility. In addition to putting nitrogen back into the earth, Acrocomia alsorevitalizes the soil by providing bio-char. By converting desiccating plant matter into bio-char Acrocomia provides an effective and organic nutrient cycling system that naturally rebuilds the soil, increases plant growth, and provides an essential carbon negative soil amendment.
Planting Acrocomia creates jobs
Acrocomia creates sustainable jobs. Acrocomia products are diverse and in demand globally. The small scale viability of growing Acrocomia provides a promising opportunity for smaller land holders throughout rural Costa Rica. This happens because Acrocomia can be grown with mixed crops and on less fertile soils of existing farms or pastures, which improves land use efficiency by allowing previously unproductive or degraded land to become economically productive, which in turn generates employment and previously unrealized income opportunities closer to where people live.