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Monday, 11 January 2016

Soil project seeks to soak up excess carbon

France is leading a worldwide push to increase the amount of carbon locked in soils through better farming practices. Supporters of an initiative launched at the COP 21 summit say this would limit global warming by removing carbon from the atmosphere, while also increasing the range and amount of food farmers produce by improving soil fertility. This would particularly benefit developing countries, according to representatives of the 4 Pour 1000 initiative. It’s a bit of a scientific dream, but we have a lot of evidence that supports this dream.” Increasing carbon stocks in the top 40 centimetres of soil by four parts per 1,000 (0.4 per cent) each year would compensate for carbon emissions from human activity, the project description says, provided deforestation is halted. To achieve this, the plan suggests five practices: not leaving the soil bare, to curb carbon losses from erosion; restoring degraded land; planting trees and growing legumes that increase levels of the plant nutrient nitrogen in the soil; feeding soil with manure; and conserving water at the base of plants to boost their growth.

Source: African Brains