Partners Involved: Soils, French government, CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), IRD (French Research Institute for Development), INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), CIRAD (French Agricultural Research and International Cooperation organization)
Type of Partnership: Win-Neutral for Public and Planet
Partnership Models: Isolator, Nourisher, Moneymaker
For the public, preserving soils contributes to mitigating climate change and ensures food security. For the planet, it restores soil health and fertility and improves soil biodiversity.
Soils provide vital yet often overlooked ecosystem services such as food security, water purification and carbon capture. Soils provide 95 percent of the food we consume and is the largest reservoir of carbon—storing twice as the atmosphere, thereby contributing to regulating our climate. The presence of organic matter in the soils is essential for carbon sequestration. Hence, higher quantities of organic matter enhance soil carbon storage.
However, 33 percent of land is moderately to highly degraded worldwide. Deforestation and agricultural practices contribute to the loss of organic matter, and soils have lost between 25 to 75 percent of their carbon stocks. Therefore, it is essential and urgent to partner with soils, according to French soil scientist Alain Ruellan. With this in mind, France launched the ‘4 per 1000’ Initiative in 2015: 0.4% (four parts per thousand) a year is the rate of carbon sequestration in soil that is needed to help mitigate climate change. By increasing the soil organic carbon by 0.4% per year, it is possible to offset carbon emissions by doubling the land sink for CO2 in the atmosphere.
The aim of the initiative is to promote research and scientific cooperation and encourage stakeholders to transition towards a productive, highly resilient agriculture, based on the appropriate management of lands and soils (such as no-till agriculture, agroecology, agroforestry, better irrigation management, recycling nutrients from waste produced in urban and peri-urban areas) with the objective to ensure food security and carbon capture while creating jobs and incomes at the same time. The CGIAR and French Institutes (INRA, CIRAD and IRD) have committed to engaging in a 5-year program to mitigate climate change through soil carbon sequestration in at least five countries.
SDGs Targeted: SDG 2 on Zero Hunger, SDG 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 on Climate Action, SDG 15 on Life on Land
Links & Sources: