Friday, 13 April 2012

CO2 neutral music rocks the environment

The Italian pop star Lorenzo “Jovanotti” Cherubini is neutralizing his tour footprint thanks to a reforestation project that will help local communities, environment, animals and will also provide electricity. 

by Ilaria Lonigro 

Photo courtesy of!/lorenzojova

Plenty of pop and rock stars are committed in helping the environment. In 2007, Sheryl Crow toured 11 campuses across the Southeast U.S. with the Stop Global Warming College Tour to help students stop global warming; in 2008, Radiohead front-man Thom Yorke spoke at the launch of the climate campaign by environmental group Friends of the Earth at the European Commission in Brussels. None of them, however, planned a CO2 neutral music tour. 

The surprising idea came from Europe. The Italian singer Lorenzo Cherubini, known as Jovanotti, who recently sang in Los Angeles, is neutralizing his tour's emissions through a wide plan of reforestation. 

The "Ora in Tour Lorenzo Live – Musica Co2 Neutral" started in 2011 and continues this year. The main concept is: no negative footprint from his music tours. How did he do this?  

Photo courtesy of!/lorenzojova

In cooperation with Treedom and Enel, the Italian electricity company and Europe's second listed utility by electricity production,Lorenzo Cherubini will plant 12 000 trees in Mankim, a village in the central region of Cameroon, 184 km north of the city of Yaounde. This action will lead to the reforestation of 20 hectares in Cameroon and it will offset 6 000 tons of CO2, balancing his tour's emissions. 

The negative footprint of his tour has been quantified through an analysis which takes into consideration energy consumptions for the concerts, the staff and the fans' trips, the amount of garbage produced during his concerts and the quantity of printed materials such as tickets, invitations, fliers and posters. 

Fans are involved in the reforestation process too: every tree, in fact, will be named after one of them. Not only: every fan will be able to follow his/her own tree growing, thanks to a dedicated website. To receive a personal tree, fans have to subscribe on the website before the concert: every tour date, in fact, offers a quantity of trees proportional to the number of spectators. Additionally, everyone can measure his or her own footprint, thanks to an app on the same website. 

Why did the singer choose Mankim, in Cameroon? Because, as it is explained on the website, it's an endangered zone, threatened by sprawling and illegal deforestation. The project aims to plant species which are not useful for the wood industry and which are able to accumulate high quantities of CO2.

Photo courtesy of!/lorenzojova

So far, 5 000 trees have been planted, registered and geo-tagged. Avocado, orange and acacia trees, not to mention mandarin, cashew and grapefruit trees are just a few of the species already planted. They've been chosen so that they balance each other, while their seeds are collected in the local forest nursery. Not only they will reinforce local food security and they will slowdown erosion, but they'll also improve the ground fertility while, at the same time, they'll help animals at risk of extinction. Rides are cultivated with corn: this protects the other trees from weeds, in particular from blady grass (Imperata cylindrica) that may threaten planted species.

Local communities play an important role in the project: it's up to them to cooperate in the nurseries and in the agricultural processes. After a training, they'll work along with local authorities to plan a long term action and to produce fair trade goods. So the project will have both an environmental and a socio-cultural positive footprint and it will help build a sustainable agricultural and forest system.

The best aspect of the project, anyway, is still to come and it's called Jathropa. This is the name of a prodigious plant which will be planted all around Mankim. Its oil is a great biofuel and it will provide the village with electricity, which is lacking at the moment. Lightning, cereal grinding, water pumping, rice husking, battery charging: all of this will be possible thanks to Jathropa and thanks to the green spirit of this Italian singer.

No comments:

Post a Comment