Promoting Permaculture Food Forests As Carbon Sinks

By Sunith Reddy December 02, 2023

COP 28: Embracing resilient techniques such as composting, no-till farming and more effective fertiliser delivery, permaculture system eliminate the presence of these poisonous gases

Promoting Permaculture Food Forests As Carbon Sinks
By encouraging sustainability in both non-material and material forms, permaculture imitates the natural ecosystem. Shutterstock

Amidst the rising environmental concerns, conscious consumerism has become the new trend. Modern-day individuals are largely considering sustainable alternatives as a means of adopting a more natural lifestyle. According to a Bain & Company report, in India, where 49 percent of consumers are health-conscious and 20 percent are socially and environmentally sensitive, sustainability is becoming a prevalent choice.

The shift to eco-friendly solutions can be largely attributed to the growing prevalence of environmental issues. From water scarcity and biodiversity loss to climate change and pollution, all have evolved into the major environmental problems plaguing the world today.

The latest report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reveals that India is likely to witness extreme weather events in the future, underscoring the increased possibility of heavy rainfall during the monsoon. While climate change stands as a threatening concern, permaculture comes in as a promising solution.

By encouraging sustainability in both non-material and material forms, permaculture imitates the natural ecosystem. This approach creates a beneficial synergy between humans and living systems.

Diversifying the efforts to battle climate change, governments worldwide have also taken significant steps. COP28 and Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action are representative of the government's efforts to address climate change. Sustainable Development Goal 13 consists of five targets that address a broad array of issues concerning climate action. On the other hand, COP28 is the 28th climate conference held by the United Nations.

The motive of the meeting is to discuss potential ways to combat climate change. This year's summit is set to be hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from November 30 to December 12, 2023. Together, the government's constructive actions and people's careful choices can lead to an environment-friendly future.

Permaculture food forests: Addressing climate change 

A rising population and a rapidly growing economy have resulted in India becoming the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, according to Statista. This data emphasises the nation's worsening climate emergency.

Addressing the challenges raised by climate change, permaculture transpires as a robust solution. It is a potent system built around concepts of social and agricultural design, majorly employing the patterns found in natural ecosystems. Consequently, this approach strives to minimise waste, human labour, and energy input across various domains. This, in turn, results in the utilisation of fewer resources and energy.

Permaculture works in tandem with nature rather than going against it. While the use of synthetic fertilisers might seem like a rapid solution, it can result in the production of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. Permaculture food forests thrive on completely organic agriculture.

Embracing resilient techniques such as composting, no-till farming, and more effective fertiliser delivery, this system eliminates the presence of these poisonous gases. Moreover, the system supports the growth of diverse plant species that effectively absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into organic matter. This, as a result, enhances soil fertility while minimising atmospheric carbon levels.

When it comes to soil management, permaculture food forests prioritise perennial plants. The profound root system of such plants prevents soil erosion while improving soil stability and water retention. This minimises the effect of extreme weather events like droughts and floods, which are becoming commonplace as a result of climate change.

While sustainable soil management is one crucial aspect of permaculture, water conservation is another. Employing techniques including rainwater harvesting and mulching, the system minimises water waste. This is particularly useful for regions experiencing severe water shortages brought on by climate change.

While battling significant environmental concerns, permaculture encourages a connection between humans and the environment. By supporting local food production, these food forests minimise the carbon impact that comes with transporting food across large distances. Consequently, the effects of industrial farming practises are eliminated by small-scale agriculture. Overall, this approach promotes community engagement while simultaneously advancing food security.

Permaculture food forests: Unlocking a sustainable future 

With environmental issues reaching an all-time high, permaculture food forests emerge as a regenerative solution. Among other threatening concerns, climate change has emerged as an imminent problem. By supporting natural ecosystems, organic agriculture, and localization, these food forests correspond to the pressing need to combat climate change.

As we address the challenges posed by climate change, permaculture food forests stand out as a potential panacea. By promoting a harmonious synergy between humans and nature, the system is a constructive step towards a sustainable future.

(Sunith Reddy, founder & CEO of Beforest.)