- Benefit Sharing Scheme
- Communal Ownership
- Eco-Friendly Waste Management
- Creating Renewable Opportunities
- Green NRG Co
- Eco-System Preservation
With sustainability comes many benefits, most importantly sustainable development can provide indigenous communities with an unrivalled livelihood. In terms of LEMCO’s sustainable development projects, benefits are obtained through a Benefit Sharing Scheme, Communal Ownership, Conservation, Eco Friendly Waste Management, Creating Renewable Opportunities and Eco System Preservation.
LEMCO sees sustainable benefits in a Benefit Sharing Scheme. By distributing the benefits of resources equitably and based on a performance ratio, sustainable output can be increased. Our partnership with local indigenous communities can be improved through the facilitation of benefit sharing, whereby these communities will be reimbursed for their labour and commitment to sustainability.
Communal ownership refers to community owned land or property. LEMCO utilised this in our sustainable development approach as indigenous communities retain a 25% shareholding. By implementing communal ownership within the project, communities are afforded the opportunity to have a say. This in turn results in the encouragement of work and income, which subsequently leads to status and influence for indigenous people.
The conservation of the natural integrity of developing nations is a priority for LEMCO. We encourage the active involvement of indigenous landowning communities, the participation of all key stakeholders, generation of palpable benefits for indigenous landowning communities and long-term external support for conservation programs. Conservation benefits result in an improved livelihood for indigenous communities, whilst also meeting LEMCO and NGO long-term conservation efforts.
LEMCO has considered Eco Friendly Waste Management as a sustainable benefit. This will ensure the protection and longevity of natural resources. Within our sustainable development projects compost initiatives will be utilised to manage waste in an eco-friendly manner. We can then use this compost as a natural fertiliser, resulting in high quality crop yields and increased revenue.
Benefits are seen through the creation of renewable opportunities. To do this LEMCO will utilise a system of circulation, meaning that fields will be planted and intercropped amongst the livestock to encourage natural nutrients, whilst the livestock will also be rotated. By integrating plantations and pastures, there is an opportunity for livestock populations to increase, with other benefits including the reduction of fertiliser application, the suppression of weeds, reduced susceptibility to insects and diseases, the economising of water use and the diversity and stability of fields.
We have recognised that eco-system preservation is a precedent for sustainable development. The Global Conservation Standard is therefore a pivotal measure in implementing sustainability through our agricultural processes. By following the three phase approach; Conservation Stage, Commercial Stage and the Buffer Zone, the financial value of ecosystems can be increased. LEMCO knows that Buffer Zones are used to protect sensitive environments and hence play a pivotal role in eco-system preservation.
Benefit Sharing is a concept that distributes the benefits of inherent resources, fairly and justifiably. Benefit Sharing Schemes have the potential to achieve a socially accepted, optimal level of conservation through incentivising indigenous communities to value the long-term yields obtained through sustainable development. These schemes reward indigenous peoples with the reimbursements of their labour, in return for their embrace of a conservationist approach to agriculture.
Benefit Sharing Schemes typically follow the model of providing payment to indigenous communities, based on a performance ratio. Simply, the greater the sustainable output, the greater payment they will receive through the scheme. This encourages a long-term view, as communities will need to maintain their harvest yield into the future in order to receive their revenue.
LEMCO embraces a performance-linked benefit sharing scheme, whereby the revenue generated by sustainable agricultural developments is equitably shared with indigenous landowners. By linking payments to the relative growth of stock, not only are communities encouraged to continue their labour involvement, but they are motivated to develop strategies to continue this into the future.
Our partnership with local indigenous communities has been developed with the intention of cultivating the conservation of natural resources, reducing emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and generating income for these communities. Hence, the LEMCO Benefit Sharing Scheme will act as a way of encouraging participatory management within our projects.
Communal ownership is as its name suggests, is the ownership of land and or property by a community. This is an extremely relevant term for LEMCO as the defining factor in our sustainable development approach is that indigenous communities have a 25% stake in the company. In this sense, when considering communal ownership LEMCO regards the ownership of the land and company as being communal.
Agriculture and land resources are the most productive factors in generating a sustainable development project, whilst the manufacturing of crafted goods plays a subsidiary role. Hence, the ownership of the land is a large consideration. Communal ownership is a more traditional style of ownership model, because of this it is not prominently seen within a modern socio-cultural context.
Rights and ownership of land encourage work, income, status and influence. Hence, by involving communal ownership, LEMCO is able to better encourage the involvement of Indigenous communities. Additionally, this involvement can be fortified over the long-term, as ownership is passed through generations. With tribes acting as custodians for the land rather than proprietors, sustainability is an inherent focus. Intrinsically, exploitation of the land by private corporate business is therefore avoided, allowing for development to occur whilst conserving the natural environment.
Communal ownership is an important factor for LEMCO due to its relevance in a sustainable project and also due to its conflict management characteristics. Communal ownership allows for indigenous communities to have a say in the agricultural use of their lands and also receive income from these practices. This involvement is essential in mitigating potential tension between LEMCO and indigenous communities, as concerns can be aired throughout the communicative planning approach. Not only will communal land ownership facilitate the environment for agricultural development but it also allows us the opportunity to progress community development.
Biodiversity in the Pacific Islands is under grave threat due to a system of habitat destruction and degradation lasting decades. A number of attempts have been made to intervene in this crisis, with most failing. Four factors are pertinent in making an attempt to conserve natural resources these are; active involvement of indigenous landowning communities the participation of all key stakeholders, generation of palpable benefits for indigenous landowning communities and long-term external support for conservation programs.
Conservation of biodiversity is a result of the efficient use and protection of natural resources, for example, trees, minerals, wildlife and water. Conservation of the Pacific region is a vital and challenging goal for organisations. With over 70% of fisheries unable to meet needs, an imminent seven and a half foot increase in sea level and approximately 30,000 islands and islets at risk, conservation of natural resources must occur in the Pacific Islands. Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have joined together as part of the ‘Pacific Oceanscape’ initiative. With the aim of conserving cultural and natural integrity in the area, NGOs are working with stakeholders across the region to conserve critical habitats.
By combining the conservation objectives of our projects, as well as that of NGOs, with the values of indigenous communities, a cultural landscape approach can be utilised by LEMCO. Such an approach has typically been met with eminent levels of community acceptance throughout Pacific Island nations. This is to be attributed to the unique conservation approach whereby a theoretical landscape model is developed which acknowledges the values of local indigenous communities and hence, prompts the organisation of a community based conservation program. Cultural, ideological and spiritual values drive the relationship between communities and the environment. To encourage conservation efforts by indigenous communities, ethical concerns need to address the particular needs of these stakeholder communities, as an alternative to encouraging them to satisfy the environmental standards of the developed world.
Initiatives include introducing science to indigenous communities to enable them to understand and resolve their own issues regarding conservation. This benefits the communities themselves as they are able to better look after the environment for their own livelihood purposes, whilst they also assist us and NGOs in our long-term conservation efforts for the region.
On a recent trip to the Solomon Islands (October 2016) we witnessed this deplorable approach to waste management. On the side of the road, not 10 metres from the ocean, was a site being used as a rubbish tip. This was all the reminder we needed that these people desperately need our help in order to set them on the path to sustainable development.
To ensure the protection and longevity of natural resources, waste management must be addressed in an eco-friendly manner. This involves the safe collection, storage and recycling of waste, and in the case of the Pacific Islands, an education program.
Ever-increasing global populations have seen a significant increase in municipal solid waste, which has a negative impact on the environment. To combat this, developing countries must educate their citizens on the importance of waste separation, this can be simply done by distinguishing recyclable and non-recyclable waste, to allow for waste to be disposed of adequately.
LEMCO will incorporate this initiative in all practices. Eco-friendly waste management will be a priority, and will be championed by the utilisation of compost initiatives. Both typical compost piles and compost toilets will play a role in managing LEMCO’s waste throughout sustainable development programs, as well as livestock waste management actions.
Compost piles produce valuable by-products from organic waste. Composting replicates the natural rotting process and aims to accelerate it. The rotten waste is then used as plant or soil nutrients. This means that a large portion of unnecessary waste does not make it into landfill, whilst also reducing methane and carbon dioxide emissions.
Compost toilets can be designed to suit specific customs, cultures and climates. They allow nature to reintegrate human waste with the soil. Additionally, they enable communities to save huge amounts of water. Utilisation of compost toilets means that sewerage networks and treatment plants are not required, representing a large cost saving. Soils will also gradually improve as the compost is used as fertiliser, meaning that the quality of agricultural products can also advance. This is a particularly pertinent factor in the Pacific Islands where soil is hard and typically not of the highest quality.
Livestock waste is of environmental concern due to it being a source of noxious gases and damaging pathogens. When utilised into biogas and compost, livestock waste can be useful in growing harvest yield and sustainability. Biogas is an efficient and renewable source of energy, and is produced from the manure of livestock, further by-products of biogas itself are high quality fertilisers.
Essentially, compost initiatives manage waste in an eco-friendly manner but can also allow for natural fertiliser to improve the quality of the soil. Ultimately, resulting in high quality crops being grown and revenue being amplified.
To create renewable opportunities, LEMCO will utilise a system of circulation. Essentially, this means that fields will be planted amongst the livestock to encourage natural nutrients, whilst the livestock will also be rotated to ensure that the land is looked after.
One way to generate renewable opportunities is by intercropping. The term intercropping (or interpolating) is defined as growing two or more crops simultaneously in the same field. This may be executed by integrating them together or by planting in alternating rows. There are a number of benefits to intercropping:
- Firstly, this practice results in diversity and stability of fields.
- It reduces fertilizer application.
- Supresses weeds.
- Reduces susceptibility to insects and diseases.
- Economises water use.
The integration of plantations and pastures allows for further renewable opportunities to be produced. In the Pacific Islands, there are a number of opportunities for these two commodities to be cohesive, through the perennial crop cultivation system. Estimates indicate that if 50% of the tree crop area was integrated, the livestock population could increase by up to a quarter. Hence, the benefits of this include:
- Increased yields and food production.
- Increased and diversified income.
- Increased stability for the growers.
- Reduced weeding costs.
- Better utilisation of labour.
- Better utilisation of land.
- Minimal land usage.
- Various by-products.
- Using intercropping has the potential to offset the substantial cost of coconut plantation establishment.
- Possible reduction of the effect of natural disasters.
- Opportunity to meet the needs of population density (i.e. when the population density is high, food growing is given priority).
This system of intercropping coupled with livestock integration is well suited to Coconut plantations, where cocoa can be utilised for intercropping. LEMCO will adhere to sustainable plantation management systems and an environmental management plan.
Energy for Electric Power
LEMCO is working with LedTek’s Australian based Green NRG solution. LedTek provides the latest in technology for storing and managing renewable energy from Solar, Wind and
Hydro sources. This technology can supply a village of 12 homes with lighting, power for charging phones, running radios and providing for a community area with a TV and computer, as well as powering a Health Centre with a fridge.
Based on budgeted cost of US$1,950 per household, this solution provides a 15,000 Watt, 50amp control unit based in a central location. Included in the cost are solar panels, long life storage batteries, LED light systems for all houses and buildings, all associated hardware and cabling. At less than 1% of the cost of rolling out a traditional electricity grid there is no excuse not to be able to provided adequate power to communities.
The standard LedTek Mini Power Station unit is able to store 5000 watts and sustain a load of 25 AMPs. Meaning it can pretty much power an average house in developed countries for a reliable 8 hours a day on stored battery power. During the day it can run the house directly from the electricity generated from the solar panels.
The MPS unit can be built to scale to supply power as needed to individual hospitals, police stations schools, community centers, light manufacturing industries, process facilities, banks and so on. MPS units are able to take input from Solar, Wind, Diesel Generators, Hydro energy sources and regulate its use and store any excess in batteries. The MPS – Mini Power Station is a very recent breakthrough in renewable energy management being able to store power and regulate its usage.
Energy from Biofuel
The BioCube is literally a 20-foot container, green fuel station. The most expensive cost involved in development of rural areas is that of both diesel and unleaded fuel. Working closely with BioCube and Founder Laurence Baum LEMCO are able to quickly finance and mobilise BioCube units for the production of diesel required to fuel generators, vehicles and any heavy machinery.
A BioCube is able to create bio diesel using crude oil feedstock’s from Coconut, Palm, Jatropha, Pongamia and sugar cane. Initially in more coastal areas of developing nations it would be envisaged that creating biofuel from coconut oil would be a very viable option. Producing BioFuel will create immediate employment in such areas and can even help supply other inland areas with regular fuel.
Part of the rural development strategy will be the planting of biofuel crops such as Pongamia. LEMCO is working with Bio Energy Plantations Australia. Pongamia research was conducted by Professor Peter Gresshoff and his team at The University of Queensland. In association with the University of QLD extensive research and field studies have been conducted for the development of a new non-food competing high oil content biofuel crop using an oil seeding Pongamia plant.
Patent Pending. The UQ research has attracted large numbers of Honours and postgraduate students, local, state and Federal government funding. It is one of the most successful programs in the field of sustainable bioenergy and biofuel production in Australia.
This is the next generation of Biofuel Feedstock, as is determined by these impressive figures:
- In tropical climate conditions harvesting can start in year 3
- Major cropping in years 5 to 6
- Optimal yields of seed per ha per annum are in the 12-15-ton range
- This equates to 5-6 tons of oil per ha per annum (optimal)
- Up to 20,000 seeds per tree
- Average of 43% oil content in seeds
- Disease resistant monoculture
Pongamia Production Outputs see 40% of the seed weight turned into oil. Crude can then be used directly into a slow speed diesel engines including Fendt farm tractors. It can be further processed into: Biodiesel; second generation Green Diesel which can then be tailored for use as jet fuel.
60% of the seed weight is turned into meal. 50% of the Meal can be converted to 1st Generation Ethanol. Shell waste can be used directly for solid fuel for boilers or used as organic fertilizer. Meal can be fed directly to supplement cattle feed at up to 10% of diet without processing. It can also be further processed by steeping to remove the alkaloids to be used as a much more significant component of diet for livestock including pigs.
LEMCO renewable energy initiatives are in partnership with Green NRG Co. Green NRG have created ‘Mini Power Stations’ (MPS) that utilise natural energy, solar energy, wind energy and hydropower.
In a world where more than one billion people continue to live without electricity, a product such as the MPS is more than just a product, it is a complete solution to bringing power to the poor and those who live in remote areas.
Green NRG have experience working within developing nations, having previously assisted with projects in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. This is an ingenious product, seeing long-term positive changes now.
With ‘Mini Power Stations’ we have the ability to power communities in an ecofriendly manner. Find out more by watching this Vimeo.
The preservation of eco-systems is a precedent for sustainable development. The Global Conservation Standard (GCS) is hence a pivotal measure in ensuring sustainability is acknowledged throughout forestry and agricultural practices. Since its implementation, the GCS has become a logical, transparent and practicable methodology.
With regards to forests, the Global Conservation Standard is gradually changing the attitude of farmers. In the past, forests have been considered a ‘cheap’ land source by farmers and loggers, resulting in mass clearing. This action blatantly disregarded the environment and economy, therefore GCS has endeavoured to educate farmers of the revenue generating ability of standing carbon stocks. In doing so, they have successfully reduced the likelihood of forests being sold off for clearing, resulting in a focus on better farming practices and land remediation.
The Global Conservation Standard follows a three-stage process to increase the financial value of ecosystems and the services they provide. The first phase is the conservation stage. This involves the implementation of conservation principles, supported by scientific evidence to guarantee conservation and security of ecosystem services within the designated conservation area. The second phase is the commercial stage. In this stage planned and forecasted timber, energy and food crops will be executed as per their relevance to the socioeconomic needs of the region. This decreases the burden on the conservation area whilst also encouraging commercial sustainability for rural communities. The final stage is the value added stage. The focus for this is to ensure that the profits generated from the commercial practices are retained within the local economy and not exported.
Essentially, the Global Conservation Standard creates a holistic and sustainable economy through intelligent land management. The standard outlines land allotments as being made up of three zones; the Conservation Zone, the Buffer Zone and the Commercial Zone. Commercial Zone activities include sustainable timber programmes, that lessen pressure to remove wood from forests but also generate employment opportunities, commercial stimulus, increased carbon credits and long-term revenues. Conservation Zone activities recognise the value of absorbed carbon into mature forests including wetlands, peatlands and mangroves. Buffer Zones (as shown in the figure below) separate Commercial and Conservation Zones. They are areas next to protected areas, where the use of the land is restricted in order to further protect the conservation zone. Practical applications of buffer zones have been successful in limiting agricultural practices to their boundaries and in reducing deforestation.
Conclusively, buffer zones play a major role in eco-system preservation as they are used to protect sensitive environments such as rivers, streams and delicate ecosystems.