Soil organic carbon is crucial to soil health, fertility, ecosystem services, and food production. Soils with high carbon content are likely to be more productive and better able to filter and purify water.
The degradation of one third of the world’s soils has released up to 78 Gt of carbon into the atmosphere. Further damage to soil carbon stocks through poor land management will hamper efforts to limit global temperature rise, to avoid increased floods, droughts and other negative climate change impacts.
Carbon sequestration, monitoring and maintenance in soils can enhance climate resilience, as a healthy amount of SOC can help plants cope. Soil rehabilitation in agricultural soils can remove carbon from the atmosphere. SOC sequestration is a slow and reversible process. SSM practices need to be adopted over the long-term. Governments now need to support land users to implement them.
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European Soil Organic Carbon-sequestration summarised in an interactive map for regional options for climate mitigation.
‘Resources, Infrastructure and Capabilities Inventory (RICI)’ is an online platform for policy stakeholders. RICI provides access to a pool of specialized scientists and experts at local, regional and national level across Europe. The online inventory is the ‘Yellow pages’ on expertise on soil science in relation to questions for policy matters.