Friday, December 4, 2015

Join the 4 0/00 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate

Building on solid, scientific documentation and concrete-getions on the ground, the "4%o Initiative: soils for food security and climate" aims to show that food security and combating climate climate are complementary and to ensure that agriculture provides sblutions to climate change.

This initiative consists of a voluntary action plan under the Lima Paris Agenda for Action (LPAA), backed up by a strong and ambitious research program.

The "4%o" Initiative aims to improve the organic matter content and promote carbon sequestration in soils through the application of agricultural practices adapted to local situations both economically, environmentally and socially, such as agro-ecology, agroforestry, conservation agriculture and landscape management.

* The Initiative engages stakeholders in a transition towards a productive, resilient agriculture, based on a sustainable soil management and generating jobs and incomes, hence ensuring sustainable development.

* Thanks to its high level of ambition, this Initiative is part of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and contributes to the sustainable development goals to reach a land-degradation neutral world.

* All the stakeholders commit together in a voluntary action plan to implement farming practices

that maintain or enhance soil carbon stock on as many agricultural soils as possible and to preserve carbon-rich soils. Every stakeholder commits on an objective, actions (including soil carbon stock management and other accompanying measures, for example index-based insurance, payment for ecosystem services, and so on), a time-line and resources.

The Initiative aims to send out a strong signal concerning the potential of agriculture to contribute to the long-term objective of a carbon-neutral economy.

Our capacity to feed 9.5 billion people in 2050 in a context of climate change will depend in particular on our ability to keep our soils alive. The health of soils, for which sufficient organic matter is the main indicator, strongly controls agricultural production. Stable and productive soils affect the resilience of farms to cope with the effects of climate change.

Primarily composed of carbon, the organic matter in soils plays a role in four important ecosystem services: resistance to soil erosion, soil water retention, soil fertility for plants and soil biodiversity.

Even small changes of the soil carbon pool have tremendous effects both on agricultural productivity and on greenhouse gas balance.

Maintaining organic carbon-rich soils, restoring and improving degraded agricultural lands and, in general terms, increasing the soil carbon, play an important role in addressing the three-fold challenge of food security, adaptation of food systems and people to climate change, and the mitigation of anthropogenic emissions. To achieve this, concrete solutions do exist and need to be scaled up. More