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Vetiver Systems and Climate Change

Monday, July 23, 2007

Climate change is a hot topic and a lot of people and agencies are trying to focus on how to adapt to the changes that are likely to occur.

We know that temperatures will increase, climatic events are likely to be more intense, and further stress will be added to our soils and water supplies. It is worth thinking how responsive the Vetiver System might be to climate change. The Vetiver System might be mans best friend in tackling some of the problems.

We know that:

  1. Vetiver grass will survive extreme conditions at both ends of temperature and rainfall gradient.
  2. Vetiver Systems are a low cost solution to reducing the potential damage from disasters and extreme events – land slide prevention, storm levee stabilization, erosion and flood control.
  3. Vetiver Systems will reduce the intensity of flooding by slowing down runoff and improving ground water recharge.
  4. Vetiver Systems will help improve water quality through the prevention of sediment and pollution flows to rivers.
  5. Vetiver Systems will protect and reduce maintenance costs of structures such as dams, canals, roads etc – all vulnerable to climate change.
  6. Vetiver Systems will reduce soil erosion and conserve soil moisture that will result in improved crop yields.
  7. Vetiver grass sequesters high amounts of atmospheric carbon.
  8. Vetiver grass has a potential as an inexpensive fuel and energy source

In the Vetiver System we have a solution that exists, that has been tested and used widely, and is relatively easy to understand and apply. The technology is low cost and labor intensive.

The System provides a WIN WIN solution. It should be used extensively, particularly in the tropics and semi tropics. As global temperatures increase its area of application can be expanded into the more temperate areas of the world.

Dick Grimshaw


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