Tropical ecologist Mike Hands and soil scientist Rattan Lal joined our Life Saves the Planet lecture series to discuss the Inga Alley Cropping technique and the promise of agroforestry for promoting biodiversity, sequestering carbon, and providing food security for farmers.
Mike Hands is a lifelong naturalist and tropical ecologist specializing in the ecology of Tropical Rain Forest, and especially the ecology of slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture. He began the studies that have led to the present Land for Life Program in the mid 1980’s. He spent 14 years as a Senior Research Associate in the University of Cambridge, working almost entirely in Central America, and he has directed a series of four research projects in Costa Rica and Honduras. He serves as Secretary and Founder-Trustee of the Inga Foundation, which has been established to continue and expand this pioneering work in the world’s rain forests. The Inga Alley Cropping method has proved resilient even through hurricanes and droughts, and Hands’ work has enabled farmers to maintain reliable harvests and experience food security while regenerating the soil. In 2020 the World Economic Forum selected the Inga Model as one of the three most promising projects for restoring forests.
Rattan Lal is a renowned professor of soil science at Ohio State University, where he is the Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. He has focused on regenerative agriculture and its potential to alleviate climate change, food insecurity, and problems with water quality. He has been awarded many prizes for his work, including the 2019 Japan Prize for “sustainable soil management for global food security and mitigation of climate change,” and the 2020 World Food Prize.
This event is the part of our lecture series Life Saves the Planet. Watch the recorded event on the GBH Forum Network.