Taungya agroforestry system for carbon sequestration.

The establishment and management of agroforestry systems contributes to the increasing ecosystem services (such as carbon sequestration), soil conservation and improvement, protection of groundwater, and encourages species diversification, among others.

These systems help strengthen food security for smallholders and to improve community production practices, since they are based on a forest management approach linked to the productive activities of basic crops, such as corn, beans, squash, chili and fruit species.

Under this logic and with these objectives, the Scolel´te Program considers seven agroforestry systems for carbon sequestration The taungya system, Ishim’te (Ishim’te in tseltal), It is a spatial arrangement that allows intercropping of basic crops with timber trees, which generates a diversified system with different production objectives.

In the case of smallholders who have good availability of lands, it is an excellent system, which also gives them the opportunity in the medium term to have diversify incomes from the sale of coffee, fruits and wood for house construction.

The smallholder is able to get basic grains for food or sale, during the first four years, while the trees receive the management benefits. This system has the capacity to sequester 189 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare (tCO2 / ha).

It is suitable for warm climates, with the use of species such as cedar (Cedrela odorata) and mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). The Scolel´te program has used this system with 255 smallholders, from six regions of Chiapas, for a total of 247 hectares reforested with the taungya system in the state of Chiapas. This equates to a sequestration of 89,742 tons of carbon dioxide (tCO2) over 20 years, equivalent to the same number of vehicles driven throughout an entire year.

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