The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project is one of our main priorities today. By facilitating the construction of 5000 biogas digesters in small households, the project leverages one of the carbon reduction provisions of the Kyoto Protocol treaty to realize two major benefits for more than 300 villages in the district. Replacing firewood which is a polluting and hazardous cooking fuel with non-polluting and sustainable biogas, and providing an opportunity for small households to participate in the global carbon trade economy.
SEDS links village households with international forwarding funding for CDM. With a meticulous project design approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), SEDS provides the expertise to construct the igloo-shaped
biogas digesters and champions their use.
low carbon farming
With the Low Carbon Farming (LCF) programme, SEDS propagates traditional innovative farming methods to break the cycle of heavy pesticide usage, soil depletion and successively reduced crop yields. Conventional wisdom advocates intensive use of pesticides and fertilizer to increase crop yield and force more out of smaller plots of land. This however, depletes the soil, forcing the farmer to use greater amounts of fertilizer and pesticide with each crop to maintain the yield.
Through LCF, SEDS encourages farmers to minimize pesticide usage and try alternative ideas such as planting a slightly earlier crop around the perimeter of the field so that pests attack that instead of the main crop. Planting fewer seedlings with greater spacing between them ensures that each stalk can grow stronger and healthier without competition from a crowded field. This in turn minimizes wastage in the crop and helps reduce fertilizer usage. Finally, the demands on the soil are not as intensive allowing for natural regeneration and improved results.
From a small demonstration plot of half an acre, LCF initiatives in the region have caught on and spread to over 2000 farm plots today.
Traditionally, women in rural households use firewood to cook. The smoke from such fires represents a health hazard to the women who remain bent over these fires for hours a day. When cooking with biogas, not only are the women spared the smoke, they also do not need to spend time collecting firewood, and in the words of one user “we no longer need to scrub sooty cooking pots anymore.” Since the biogas digesters run on cow manure, which is easily available in villages, it means that many tree branches saved as well.
SEDS also facilitates the rigorous validation procedures that CDM initiatives require in order to qualify to sell carbon credits. We are a bridge between global auditing firms and local stakeholders, ensuring that nothing gets lost in translation during this crucial stage. Once the CDM programme matures, SEDS will ensure that the monetary benefits from carbon credit sales to corporations that need them to offset their carbon footprint, reach the households that generated those credits.
SEDS is a member of the Fair Climate Network, an association of grassroots NGOs who utilize carbon resources for the sustainable development of the poor.