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The Soil Carbon Manifesto

This manifesto is interesting for its focus. But what it doesn't tell you is how reliant the Coalition is in its perspectives on carbon emissions trading scheme to secure a "healthy profit". I can see their POV and I think it has to be addressed because moving to sustainable agriculture with its related benefits in regard to carbon sequestration has to include a scheme which ensures farmers are economically viable as they need the fund the transition.

There is even an "adopt a farmer" scheme by buying Australian Farm Soil Credits.

While this approach is in step & in sync with the strategy of value adding to farm product it is unfortunate that farmers should be tied to such a motivator in order to protect their incomes if they move to a carbon farming regime. -- DR
The Carbon Coalition is a group of concerned Australians who believe the globe is facing a crisis of CO2 overload leading to Global Warming and that one of the most effective strategies for locking up carbon in our atmosphere is to be found in fostering deep-rooted plant species on land used for agriculture.
Capturing more carbon in agricultural soils will mean water is used where it falls, leading to cleaner waterways and less silting.

Capturing more carbon in agricultural soils will mean water

is used where it falls, leading to cleaner waterways and less silting.

We urge governments and the business community to acknowledge the role that agricultural soils can play in addressing the Global Warming crisis. Farmers can play a central role in sequestering carbon in their soils by fostering deep-rooted perennial plant species that have significant biomass in their root systems.

Soil biomass is a natural carbon sink and should be used to create carbon credits which can be traded alongside those currently traded for forests.

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.
  • “Soil 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

1 Com:

michaelangelica | May 07, 2008

A fabulous manifesto. I wish you well.

How do you intend to get it on the 2020 agenda?

I have written to four relevant Federal Ministers without even an acknowledgement.

Do you include pyrolysis bio-char in this process?

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