Soils can save the world
We stand by the following facts:
- The terrestrial biosphere currently sequesters 2 billion metric tons of carbon annually. (US Department of Agriculture)
- Soils contain 82% of terrestrial carbon.
- “Enhancing the natural processes that remove CO2 from the atmosphere is thought to be the most cost-effective means of reducing atmospheric levels of CO2.” (US Department of Energy)
- “Soil organic carbon is the largest reservoir in interaction with the atmosphere.” (United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation) – Vegetation 650 gigatons, atmosphere 750 gigatons, soil 1500 gigatons
- The carbon sink capacity of the world’s agricultural and degraded soils is 50% to 66% of the historic carbon loss of 42 to 78 gigatons of carbon.
- Grazing land comprises more than half the total land surface
- An acre of pasture can sequester more carbon than an acre of forest.
- “œSoil represents the largest carbon sink over which we have control. Improvements in soil carbon levels could be made in all rural areas, whereas the regions suited to carbon sequestration in plantation timber are limited.” (Dr Christine Jones)
BENEFITS FOR THE NATION AND THE COMMUNITY
The benefits of rewarding farmers for contributing to carbon sequestration include the following:
- Improved soil health, protecting our most precious national resource
- Increased soil fertility, boosting productivity and competitiveness
- Better usage of water, reducing erosion, silting, and salination
- Reduced danger of rising salt levels, lowering the water table
- Reduced loss of topsoil to wind and runoff with 100% ground cover
- Increased farm incomes, increasing viability in volatile industries
- Increased farm values, giving farm families financial flexibility
- Foster growth in farm communities, providing employment opportunities and protecting social infrastructure