Best Ideas 2020 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Rejuvenation of the tropical grasslands from desertification.
Explain your idea in details:
Rejuvenation of the tropical grassland from desertification is an initiative that seeks to replenish a once versatile nature's resource, the grasslands from further disappearance resulting from the twin impact of climate change & desert encroachment. It main objective is the restoration of barren lands within the geographical sphere of the tropical grassland biome, back to a healthier condition, in order to recreate an ecosystem that can support the establishment of a new fauna community, sometime in the near future. Secondly, as an alternative to the delay subject to the process of re/afforestation scheme on the short & long run, since the planet is running a race against time to alter the perils unleashed by the aforementioned twin demons, & reduce the rate of greenhouse effect being encountered globally via carbon sequestration. This initiative involves the cultivation of resistant grass species like the: Asian Miscanthus giganteus (known as giant miscanthus, commonly used as a biomass crop), African Pennisetum purpureum (known as napier grass, Uganda grass or giant king grass), & the Asian Arundo donax (known as giant cane, giant reed) on allotted lands. It'll be executed on a wide scale, under several pilot phases to serve as a model to other climes of the world. Besides, It relies heavily on innovative approaches somewhat similar to our modern agricultural practices e.g: (a) Ploughing/Harrowing. (b) Application of Organic manures or fertilizers, if applicable e.g. by the use of nutrient rich sewage sludge or wastewater. (c) Spacing techniques during planting of seeds/offshoots. (d) Irrigation from various source of water supply etc. Factors to be considered with regards to the choice of species for planting proposition on any given landscape includes: (a) Biotic (b) Edaphic (c) Relief (d) Climate (e) Adaptation etc. Mechanized agricultural implements will also be employed at different stages of cultivation down to the harvest of by-products for domestic and industrial purposes.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Grasscorp is a forthcoming project based on the aforementioned idea; it's expected to target the following SDGs 7,8,13 &15, and enable them become reality by 2030 with the targets below: (1) An alternative to the problems associated with the demand for cheap energy e.g its by-product serve as biomass crops. This'd go a long way towards limiting the world's economy reliance on fossil fuels, which has a negative toll on climate. (ii) Expansion of infrastructure & technological upgrades, which leads to a more cleaner & efficient energy globally using bio-energy. This encourages growth & helps the environment, as energy is the main contributor to climate change; it produces about 60% of GHGs. (2) Sustain economic growth appreciably & opens a window for higher level productivity/technological innovation. This'd yield more robust employment & decent work for all ages/gender by 2030. (3) Efficiently act as a buffer against climate-change globally, due to it low carbon production. At it peak, the project will effectively limit warming to 1.5°c; global net CO2 emissions would drop by about 45% between 2023 & 2030, and probably reach net-zero by 2050, if sustained massively. (ii) Job creation for over 0.5 million workers by 2030, in both formal & informal sectors of the project. (4) Restoration of lands from degradation, drought & desert encroachment on a global scale. (ii) Grasscorp should contribute significantly towards 33% of the CO2 reductions needed by 2030. The project's success will be evaluated in the foreseeable future by these measures: (1) The world's population that relies on polluting & unhealthy fuels for cooking would be further reduced from 40 to 20% by 2030. (2) The unemployed, projected to reach 174 million this year, should be significantly reduced by 2030, with the employment of both skilled and unskilled personnel. (3) An appreciable reduction in global mean temperature to approximately 2°c above pre-industrial levels, if highly invested upon before 2030.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Grasscorp operates as a hybrid organization (non-profit/profit), although the latter, after the harvest stage, as aerial parts of plant serves as by-products for bio-energy, paper production etc. Harvest is carried-out few weeks before the wet season, but for arid regions & desert terrains, it might be left untouched due to inadequate precipitation to sustain yet another planting season. Although irrigation will be practiced from time-to-time towards salvaging the situation. The earlier aspect involves cultivation of designated species on allocated lands, while carrying-out agricultural practices to enable rapid-high yield before commencement of wet season. It's more labor & capital intensive than the latter stage. As a corporation, it influence is expected to be seen far & wide in diverse regions of the world. It's also expected to have a global market & quarterly/annual growth target, with presence of several shareholders & investment opportunities. In terms of financing sources, I intend to get them from close relatives, well-meaning individuals & stakeholders, private and public partnerships i.e. local/foreign NGOs, Ministry of Environment, National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), and other external agencies e.g. WBG, UNWTO, UNEP, UN-Habitat, UNFCCC etc. Supports could come in form of grants, aids & special fundings e.g ecological funds etc. Meanwhile, such capital would be well utilized in getting ready, adequate infrastructures on ground, manpower & skilled personnel needed to kickstart the project at anypoint in time at several designated sites. A famous African proverb says 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go-together.' I intend launching the project into reality, with individuals of like minds & close contacts through networking, support and advice. The impacts of various think-tanks & other entrepreneurs working towards a cleaner energy using biomass as fuel, via intermediate technology will be so useful to a great extent.
Paul Onuh is a graduate of B.Sc Geology from the University of Jos, Nigeria. He's 31, a Nigerian by nationality & based in Abuja, the nation's capital city. He's also an emerging creative writer with his flash, Walls of Bones published by the Writers Cafe Magazine issue 19 "Can you dig it." As a young earth scientist, at the age of 25, he embarked on an ExxonMobil sponsored Geological Field Mapping of Wamba Sheet, Mid-Benue Trough, Nassarawa (in partnership with his institution of graduation at 2015/16 respectively). He took out his Research Project Mapping at sections of Lafia Formation with the title: Geology & Lithostratigraphic studies of Ferruginized sandstones within Akpamani & It Environs of the Mid-Benue Trough, which was subsequently published in an educational journal. However, his academic days opened his foresight into the harsh weather condition witnessed during his 3rd, 4th & final field excursion at Shendam, Wamba, and Lafia consecutively. He suffered from lethargy, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite & fungal skin infections from the earlier two trips in particular due to weather conditions. During these trips, he found a certain phenomenal, common with those places namely: (a) Desert encroachment (b) Erosion of various degrees due to a wide range of causes. (c) Drought, especially in Shendam and Lafia. (d) High reliance on wood fuel, leading to loss of vegetative cover on large expanses of land. (e) Re-radiations, & (f) Poor air circulation. Since then, he'd explored various ways through which such unhealthy environmental conditions can be managed extensively by scientific research. Besides, his intermediate understanding of General Biology, Biogeography & Agricultural Science should go a long way towards seeing the initiative in Grasscorp reach for the sky.