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ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY(AIJ)
 

USIJI Uniform Reporting Document:

Activities Implemented Jointly Under the Pilot Phase

List of Projects

A. Description of the AIJ project

1. Title of project: Project Salicornia: Halophyte Cultivation in Sonora

2. Host country: Mexico

3. Brief project description:

Project Salicornia is Phase I of a two-phase project to cultivate a native halophyte (a salt-tolerant euphorb plant, Salicornia bigelovii) in a coastal desert region of northwest Mexico. Phase I is designed to research and demonstrate Salicornia cultivation on 30 hectares of coastal land. The estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of the project result from carbon accumulation and storage in the sandy soil. If Phase II is initiated, the cultivated crop could potentially serve as a valuable source of biomass material and food (cooking oil and fresh vegetable products), and could generate income for the local population.

4. Participants:

Name of Organization or Individual Country

Genesis, S.A. de C.V. (a subsidiary of PDC)

Mexico

Planetary Design Corporation (PDC)

U.S.A.

Halophyte Enterprises, Inc (HEI— a subsidiary of PDC)

U.S.A.

Salt River Project (SRP)

U.S.A.

Econergy International Corporation (EIC)

U.S.A.

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Genesis, S.A. de C.V.

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

None

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Administration

Street

Yañez 116 Norte

City

Hermosillo, Sonora

State

Post code

CP 81390

Country

Mexico

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Mota Urbina

First name, middle name

Carlos

Job title

Director General de Genetica y Sistemas de Ingenieria Solar S.A. de C.V.

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

Cota Hernández

First name, middle name

C.P.T. Alfonso

Job title

Director Financieró

Direct telephone

52-62-14 5667 or 14 5824

Direct fax

(Same as above)

Direct e-mail

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Planetary Design Corporation

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

PDC

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Technology development and coordination

Street

4500 North 32nd Street #100

City

Phoenix

State

Arizona

Post code

85018

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

602-912-9887

Fax

602-912-0277

E-mail

planetary1@aol.com

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Hodges

First name, middle name

Roy Malone

Job title

Chief Operating Officer

Direct telephone

602-912-9887

Direct fax

602-912-0277

Direct e-mail

planetary1@aol.com

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

Platt

First name, middle name

Joseph B.

Job title

Ecologist

Direct telephone

602-912-9887

Direct fax

602-912-0277

Direct e-mail

joplatt@aol.com

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Halophyte Enterprises, Inc (a subsidiary of PDC)

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

HEI

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Financing

Street

4500 North 32nd St., Suite 100

City

Phoenix

State

Arizona

Post code

85018

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Murphy

First name, middle name

Daniel M.

Job title

President and CEO

Direct telephone

602-912-9887

Direct fax

602-912-0277

Direct e-mail

planetaryl@aol.com

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

Isom

First name, middle name

Loren

Job title

Project support manager

Direct telephone

602-912-9887

Direct fax

602-912-0277

Direct e-mail

planetaryl@aol.com

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Salt River Project

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

SRP

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Financing

Street

P.O. Box 52025, Mail Station PAB #355

City

Phoenix

State

Arizona

Post code

85072-2025

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Brown Maracas

First name, middle name

Kate

Job title

Manager, Environmental Affairs

Direct telephone

602-236-2045

Direct fax

602-236-3407

Direct e-mail

kbmaraca@srp.gov

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

(Same as above)

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

Item

Organization

Name of organization (original language)

or

Name of individual if unaffiliated with any organization

Econergy International Corporation

Name of organization (English)

(Same as above)

Acronym (original language)

EIC

Acronym (English)

(Same as above)

Department

Function(s) within the AIJ project activities

Technical and financial advisor

Street

1925 K Street, NW Suite 230

City

Washington

State

District of Columbia

Post code

20006

Country

U.S.A.

Telephone

Fax

E-mail

World Wide Web-URL address

Administrative Officer Responsible for the Project

Surname

Ashford

First name, middle name

Michael S.

Job title

Vice President

Direct telephone

202-822-4980

Direct fax

202-822-2986

Direct e-mail

Contact Person for AIJ Activities (if different from the Administrative Officer)

Surname

(Same as above)

First name, middle name

Job title

Direct telephone

Direct fax

Direct e-mail

5. Description of AIJ project activities
Item
Type of Project

Sector(s)

Agriculture

Primary activity(ies)

Salicornia cultivation and crop management; technical analysis of soil carbon accumulation and commercial feasibility of Salicornia cultivation

Project Location

Country

Mexico

Exact location (city, state, region)

About 400 yards from the coast, adjacent to the town of Bahia de Kino (Kino Bay) in Sonora

Key Dates and Current Stage of Project

Project starting date (month/year)

April 1996

Project ending date (month/year)

October 2055

Project lifetime (years)

59 years, 7 months

Current stage of project

In progress

General Project Description and Technical Data

The project is Phase I of a two-phase project to cultivate Salicornia bigelovii in a coastal desert region of northwest Mexico. Salicornia bigelovii is a native halophyte, which can be irrigated with sea water and is ideally suited for cultivation in desert or near-desert, coastal regions.

Phase I is designed to research and demonstrate Salicornia cultivation on 30 hectares of coastal land. The specific measures to reduce GHG emissions associated with Phase I of the project include development of a cost-effective process to cultivate Salicornia on a commercial basis, and optimization of agronomic methods for irrigation and harvesting. These measures will increase carbon storage in the soil at the 30 hectare site. Phase II, which is currently not part of this USIJI project, will develop a fully commercial 50,000 hectare farm to cultivate Salicornia for use in the production and commercial sale of biomass products and materials. If Phase II is initiated, the cultivated crop could potentially serve as a valuable source of cooking oil, fresh vegetable products, high-fiber biomass for particle board manufacturing, and biomass for power generation, and could provide income to the local population.

6. Cost

(a) Explanation of methodology for calculating cost data

Methodology for Calculating Cost Data

This information is not yet available.

(b) Cost data–Project development

This information is not yet available.

(c) Cost data–Project implementation

This information is not yet available.

7. Monitoring and verification of AIJ project activities and results

Item

Party(ies) that will be monitoring project activities

Genesis and HEI, with technical support from EIC and in coordination with SRP

Party(ies) that will be externally verifying project results

This information is not yet available.

Date when the monitoring plan became (or will become) operational (month/year)

This information is not yet available.

Types of data that will be collected

Soil carbon content and density of belowground biomass, annual quantity of biomass harvested, annual production and carbon content of long-lived products, average decay rate of long-lived products, fossil fuel consumption

Description of Monitoring and Verification Activities and Schedule for Implementation

Monitoring will be conducted by Genesis and HEI with technical support from EIC and in coordination with SRP. The soil carbon stocks of below-ground biomass will be monitored every 2-3 years over the lifetime of the project.

Annual biomass harvests will be monitored based on annual project harvest records. Fuel and electricity consumption used to operate machinery and irrigation pumping will also be monitored.

The proposal states that the participants intend to identify, in consultation with Mexican and U.S. authorities, appropriate independent entities to conduct external verification. Verification will be conducted on an annual basis using data collected by the project operators.

B. Governmental approval

Item

Please check one of the following.

This report is a first report.

or

This report is an intermediate report.

or

This report is a final report.

Please check one of the following:

This report is a joint report. Letter(s) of approval of this report from the designated national authority of the other Party(ies) involved in the activity is(are) attached in Section J, Annex.

or

This report is a separate report.

Additional comments (if any):

C. Compatibility with, and supportiveness of, national economic development and socioeconomic and environmental priorities and strategies

Compatibility with Economic Development and Socioeconomic and Environmental Priorities

This information is not yet available.

D. Environmental, social/cultural, and economic impacts of the AIJ project

Non-Greenhouse-Gas Environmental Impacts of the Project

Small-scale cultivation on the 30 hectare Phase I project site are unlikely to have significant negative non-GHG impacts. However, since Phase II will involve large-scale Salicornia production and commercialization of short- and long-lived biomass products, several activities are underway in Phase I to evaluate the potential positive and negative impacts associated with Phase II activities.

The use of fertilizers and pesticides may potentially have a negative impact on both terrestrial and marine coastal wildlife. These issues will be directly addressed by an environmental impacts assessment conducted in Phase II. Initial data collection and review suggest that the toxic effects of the pesticides and fertilizers used— carbendazim, diammonium phosphate, and anhydrous ammonia— and risks of ecological destruction associated with these chemicals, is low. Any negative effects associated with these pesticides and fertilizers can be minimized by implementing safe usage and storage practices on-site.

Salicornia farming may also negatively impact coastal biodiversity. To prevent the spread of Salicornia beyond the intended cultivation area, the Salicornia crops will be planted on abandoned agricultural fields that do not receive water naturally either from waves or storms that come inland from the coast. Participants are engaged in discussions with The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International to collect information on possible biodiversity effects of Phase I and II.

Large-scale irrigation of Salicornia could result in saltwater intrusion into freshwater coastal acquifers. Recognizing this potential negative impact, Phase II project sites have been chosen for their close proximity to the sea to allow for estuary irrigation directly from the sea or from on-site, saltwater wells. Test wells will be drilled at each site to identify any possible freshwater acquifers and potential for salt migration into freshwater resources. Salt migration and water table levels have already been monitored at the Phase I Kino Bay site, revealing no evidence of saltwater intrusion into freshwater resources.

The positive non-GHG impacts associated with large-scale halophyte cultivation anticipated in Phase II of the project include slowing the process of desertification in some areas, possibly offsetting forest clearing, and removing toxic metals from wastewater. To the extent that Salicornia or other halophyte products may directly substitute for forest products, project GHG and non-GHG benefits may include mitigation of clear-cutting forests. However, it may not be possible to accurately quantify these benefits.

Social/Cultural Impacts of the Project

There is very little likelihood that the project will have any negative social impacts on the region. Large tracts of land are now lying fallow because of the lack of adequate freshwater resources needed for conventional farming. An informal assessment by the University of Arizona’s Environmental Research Laboratory (ERL) indicates that if Phase II of the project is initiated, unemployed farmers and displaced fisherman are likely to benefit from employment opportunities in halophyte farming.

Economic Impacts of the Project

Most of the regional agricultural development over the last 30 to 50 years has depleted freshwater supplies and caused saltwater intrusion into deep wells. In many cases, the Government of Mexico has relocated segments of the agriculturally dependent population, and provided new wells for irrigation. With these new wells, irrigation costs are about $10,000 per hectare. To the extent that halophyte farming can take hold in the region, irrigation costs will fall to approximately $3,000 per hectare.

E. Greenhouse gas impacts of the AIJ project

1. Scenario description

Item
Site Designation

Site number (order of presentation in this report)

1 of 1

Site name/designation

Phase I

Project sector

Agriculture

Reference Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

None (idle, unproductive desert land)

Has the reference scenario changed since the last report? (If yes, explain any changes below.)

Yes

No

This is the first project report.

Description:

The project developers assume that in the Phase I reference scenario, the project area would remain as unused and unproductive desert land without significant vegetation or soil carbon. The University of Arizona’s Environmental Research Laboratory has extensively tested the soil at the project site to verify soil carbon stocks prior to Salicornia cultivation.

Although Phase II has not been initiated and is not considered part of the USIJI project, the project developers have begun to collect data and information to develop the Phase II reference scenario and emission projections.

Predicted Project Scenario

Primary activity(ies)

Salicornia cultivation and crop management; technical analysis of soil carbon accumulation and commercial feasibility of Salicornia cultivation

Description:

The 30 hectare project site was chosen because it is ready for operation, and represents a manageable plot in which to research and demonstrate Salicornia cultivation. The Phase I project scenario is based on the assumption that the Salicornia crop will result in the accumulation of soil carbon. Since the project area will be harvested annually, the project developers assume there will be almost no carbon accumulation in above-ground biomass. In addition, since the production of long-term biomass products will not occur until Phase II of the project, the project scenario for Phase I does not include carbon benefits associated with carbon storage in long-lived products.

Actual Project

Primary activity(ies)

This information is not yet available.

Description:

This information is not yet available.

2. GHG emission/sequestration calculation methodology

GHG Emission/Sequestration Calculation Methodology

Site number

1 of 1

Project sector

Agriculture

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Reference Scenario

The project developers estimate that zero carbon is stored on the project area in the reference scenario. In the absence of the project, it is assumed that the project area would remain without significant vegetation or soil carbon.

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Project Scenario

During Phase I, the project developers anticipate that soil carbon will accumulate over the 60-year project lifetime. The project developers estimate that over 100 years, the project area would reach a steady-state value of 22 short tons C/acre. This is equal to 49.317 metric tonnes C/hectare (= 22 short tons C/acre * 0.9072 metric tonnes/1 short ton * 1 acre/0.4047 hectares). Since the project area is 30 hectares, soil carbon accumulation on the entire project area is estimated to be 1,479.5 metric tonnes C (= 49.317 t C/ha * 30 ha). To convert to units of CO2 (i.e., on a full molecular weight basis), this value was multiplied by the ratio of 44 t CO2/12 t C. Thus, the cumulative amount of CO2 sequestered over 100 years would be approximately 5,425 t CO2 (=1,479.496 t C * 44 t CO2/12 t C). To estimate CO2 sequestered over the 60-year project lifetime, 5,425 t CO2 was multiplied by 0.6. As a result, the estimate of CO2 sequestered by the project is 3,255 metric tonnes CO2.

Description of Calculation Methodology for the Actual Project

This information is not yet available.

3. GHG emission/sequestration data

(a) Reporting of GHG emissions/sequestration

Information on annual GHG emissions is not yet available. Cumulative GHG benefits associated with Phase I of the project are anticipated to be 3,255 t CO2.

(b) Additional information on GHG emissions/sequestration

Indirect or Secondary GHG Impacts (Positive and Negative)

Energy consumption for irrigation during Phase I of the project will result in secondary carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 0.84 t C/ha-yr. Initial energy efficiency improvements planned for Phase I are expected to reduce annual secondary emissions from energy consumption to about 0.70 t C/ha-yr. These secondary emissions are still high compared to emissions from energy consumption associated with conventional farming, which are about 0.15 - 0.2 t C/ha-yr. Additional investments in energy efficiency will occur in Phase II, when such investments will be more cost-effective. With Phase II energy efficiency improvements, emissions from energy consumption for irrigation are anticipated to fall to 0.28 t C/ha-yr.

Factors That Could Cause the Future Loss or Reversal of GHG Benefits

Factors that could cause anticipated GHG benefits to be lost or reversed in the future include crop failure and extreme natural events.

In addition, at the conclusion of Phase I, if it is determined that the project does not demonstrate a viable opportunity for large-scale halophyte cultivation, Phase II will not be initiated and project soil carbon benefits will be lost at a rate of 0.5 percent per year.

Strategy for Reducing the Risk of Future Loss or Reversal of GHG Benefits

This information is not yet available.

F. Funding of the AIJ project

1. Identification of funding sources

(a) Funding sources for project development

Funding Source

Country of Funding Source

Amount

($US)

Percent of Total Funding

(%)

SRP (carbon research and feasibility study)

U.S.A. 500,000

University of Arizona’s Environmental Research Laboratory (ERL)

U.S.A.

EPRI

U.S.A.

Total

100

(b) Funding sources for project implementation

Funding Source

Country of Funding Source

Amount

($US)

Percent of Total Funding(%) Is This Funding Assured? (Y/N)

Genesis, S.A. de C.V.

Mexico Y

HEI

U.S.A. Y

PDC

U.S.A. Y

Total

100
2. Assessment of additional funding needs
Current or Planned Activities to Obtain Additional Funding

No additional funds are required for Phase I.

G. Contribution to capacity building and technology transfer

Contribution to Capacity Building and Technology Transfer

The project will introduce a new agricultural crop on what is now unused desert land. In addition, the project will research and demonstrate Salicornia cultivation and crop management techniques, which are not widely practiced in the region.

H. Recent developments, technical difficulties, and obstacles encountered

Recent Project Developments

This information is not yet available.

Technical Difficulties and Other Obstacles Encountered

This information is not yet available.

I. Additional information

Additional Information

None.

J. Annex

1. Host country acceptance of the AIJ project

Country/Project Title

Name, Title, and Government Agency of the Designated National Authority

Date of Approval(day/month/year)

Mexico/Project Salicornia: Halophyte Cultivation

Carlos Gay, Coordinator of the Unit for International Cooperation and Agreement, National Ecology Institute (INE), Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (SEMARNAP)

3 December 1996

2. Letters of approval of this AIJ project report

See attached letter of concurrence.


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