“The Village Hub”
A zero waste, zero emissions, value-added processing center.
Hubs generate a high return on investment from the processing of multiple high value forest-based crops.
Dr. Willie Smits, a conservationist and engineer, cleverly designed the patented system to simultaneously produce clean drinking water, organic biochar fertilizer, forest based bio-fuels for cooking and clean rural electrification and transport. They generate many other co-benefits alongside a suite of high value products like organic low glycemic palm sugar, dried fruits, & seed oils.
The substantial profits generated by the suite of products help communities improve food & nutrition security, gain access to critical services like new rural health care clinics, local schools, and training programs.
By rapidly linking farmer co-ops around the world with this innovative model, we can scale-up a global climate solution that empowers women & indigenous communities.
Not only do hubs draw down carbon, & reduce emissions from tropical deforestation and land degradation, but provide a critical pathway to transition emerging economies to a greener future – one based on a highly efficient, local bio-fuel alternative that they can pay themselves to grow and process -shifting financial flows out of fossil fuels and into local climate adaptation & poverty alleviation.
A powerful model to help the World meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We Need Your Help
Our solution brings together highly collaborative thought and action leaders from both ends of global supply chains. With your help we can build powerful partnerships that unlock the vast resources needed to reverse climate change.
Pooling investments to grow the number of the Village Hubs rapidly, we can significantly reduce the 3 main human sources of GHG’s. Donors, corporate partners & impact investors can inject the financial capital needed by our micro-entrepreneurs. By working together we can build regenerative enterprise Hubs across the globe.
Thru entrepreneurial training & support, groups of women farmers grow profitable green businesses. New enterprises help them gain greater access to finance, education, markets, micro-credit, self-determination and their own land titles.
Village Hubs provide the key enabling conditions needed to climb out of poverty for good and regenerate degraded ecosystems worldwide. Profit from Hubs are reinvested locally to incentivize farmers to halt deforestation, adopt farming methods that sequester carbon, and produce highly efficient forest-based bio-fuels.
By providing an alternative to growing fuel and fuel-wood demand -we can leap frog the rapidly growing demand, further reducing future GHG emissions. 3 Hubs are already in operation in Indonesia – with 3rd party analysis proving the profitability and social as well as ecosystem benefits of the model. Sustainability financing with this approach becomes even more powerful when paired with corporate insetting and carbon credit programs from major corporations and organization trying to minimize their carbon footprint.
This is a critical system to scale-up instead of the destructive African Oil Palm monocultures.
The African oil palm industry is rapidly expanding around the tropics, deforesting the last remaining tropical forests. They start by clear cutting and burning carbon rich and bio-diverse forests – literally igniting “carbon bombs” as they they release massive quantities of stored carbon, increasing greenhouse gas emissions into the overburdened atmosphere. Deforestation is responsible for 1/3 of the total global carbon emissions problem.
Sugar Palm, on the other hand, is grown in a diverse multi-strata agroforesty production system rather than a monoculture. Research in the Phillipines has shown these systems store more carbon than surrounding wild forest. The sugary sap of the Sugar Palm can be collected year round from a bio-diverse forest ecosystem that requires no chemical inputs so unlike African Palm plantations, they don’t contribute to the problem of polluted run-off damaging coral reefs. The Sugar Palm regenerates degraded soils, holds steep slopes in place and prevent erosion. It is a system that is very resilient in the face of climate disruption, and is a carbon negative production system for bio-ethanol. Sugar palm ethanol is much much more efficient than any other source of bio-ethanol currently produced at commercial scale which is why this system can produce such a high ROI when combined with other high value forest products.
If scaled-up globally, this system could replace much of the world’s petroleum fuel use – replacing petro-fuels with a bio-fuel that can actually heal the atmosphere, protecting the worlds remaining tropical forest carbon stocks and sucking even more of the excess carbon pollution back out of the air, storing it safely in the soils and in tropical forest biomass.
There are currently more than 500 million hectares of degraded tropical forests around the world that could be regenerated through this global carbon farming climate solution. We have all the tools needed to solve this problem.
Time is of the essence.
This video shows a smaller version of the micro-factory. Here it is used for processing a high-value tree seed “butter” – ideal for cosmetic uses and as a superfood.
The system is fully scalable. It is modular and made of off-the-shelf components that fit in 3 shipping containers. It can start out small, serving 40 families, and grow to serve over 6000. Over time, as other agro-forestry crops mature, they can also be processed. The system design is highly adaptable and can be converted to process a wide array of locally appropriate suites of crops.
See a list of our projects here.
The Center for Sustainable Communities projet site in Ghana