SilviCarbon Agroforestry Laos Sole Co. Ltd. (SCALA) is a carbon-forestry project 100% owned by SilviCarbon and serves as a hallmark project embodying our mission of generating nature-based removals at scale with environmental integrity while also supporting local communities in the project area.
We achieve this by applying the combined experience and expertise of the team, staying true to our commitments and setting a high standard for all nature-based carbon removal projects.
SCALA plants trees on land that has been degraded by shifting cultivation, also known as slash-and-burn farming. Through afforestation, the soil health is restored and its productivity regenerated.
By incorporating the agroforestry model, SCALA provides a sustainable alternative to the destructive agricultural methods that are prevalent in the area.
SCALA has taken it upon itself to safely remove leftover bombs from the Vietnam War from the entire project area, creating a safe environment for local communities to work and farm.
Collaboration with villages in the project area is a key aspect of the project, and SilviCarbon ensures that all local stakeholders benefit from the project activities.
The project helps to stimulate the Lao economy by contributing to the fast-growing wood industry which is becoming increasingly valuable with the emergence of the bio-economy.
Shifting cultivation is the most common agricultural practice in Laos and consists of cyclical burning of all vegetation in an area of land to prepare it for food production.
This is a highly destructive practice responsible for the loss of vast areas of natural forest. Shifting agriculture ranks as the number one cause of CO2 emissions in Laos.
Rising populations and increased food demand has exacerbated these issues, putting the remaining natural forests of Laos at significant risk of deforestation.
At SCALA, we exclusively plant trees on land previously degraded by shifting agriculture. We do this to remove CO2 from the atmosphere while regenerating the soil quality and avoiding further deforestation.
Agroforestry is an efficient land-use technique which combines forestry and agriculture to optimise productivity while achieving a range of extra benefits. It works by planting trees in rows and cultivating crops in between the trees, or using this space for livestock grazing.
Agroforestry addresses the two biggest causes of CO2 emissions in Laos. These are shifting agriculture and illegal logging, which both lead to widespread deforestation.
With agroforestry, SCALA provides a sustainable alternative to shifting agriculture while also supplying high-quality wood at competitive rates, reducing the incentive for illegal logging in the area.
Agroforestry provides social, environmental and economic benefits in the form of safe and productive lands for villagers to cultivate, increased food security, protection of natural forests in the area and economic stimulation from wood commerce and employment opportunities.
During the Vietnam War (1964-1973) the US dropped 270 million cluster bombs on Laos, equivalent to a planeload of bombs dropped every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years. This makes Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in the world.
One-third of all the bombs that were dropped did not explode upon impact. The unexploded ordnance (UXO) threatens the safety of Lao civilians, especially in the Southeast part of the country.
Since the end of the war, 20.000 people have been killed or maimed by the remaining bombs. Of all UXO related accidents in Laos, 60% result in death and 40% of the victims are children.
Due to the high costs associated with UXO clearance, the Lao government has only been able to remove 1% of all remaining bombs.
SCALA hires professional teams to clear UXO from the entire project area. This creates a safe working environment for our employees, many of whom are villagers who have witnessed the dangers of UXO first-hand.
SilviCarbon values communications and collaboration with local stakeholders highly. In line with this, all of our projects uphold the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) which ensures that local stakeholders understand the implications of the project thoroughly before deciding whether to allow for the activities to start.
SCALA maintains extensive communication throughout the operation of the project to foster the relationship with local communities and authorities. This relationship is mutually beneficial, as the project provides employment in a rural area with limited opportunities, where the villagers provide an eager and competent workforce in return.
To increase the positive impact of the project on local communities, SCALA also contributes to village funds aimed at improving the living conditions in and around the villages. The funds are managed by village leaders with guidance from local governments. The most common expenditures are infrastructure and education.
SCALA and other large-scale forest plantations in Laos contribute significantly to the national economy by offering sustainable, high-quality wood products to international markets.
Given its high availability of land and fast growth-rates, the forestry industry has the potential to lift Laos out of its least developed country status.
In addition to bolstering the overall economy in Laos, SCALA also takes a targeted approach to alleviating poverty in one of the lowest-income regions in the country.
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