Report From Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon

IFOAM – Organics International participated in the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC17), a scientific meeting held 21-23 March 2017 at FAO headquarters in Rome with hundreds of participants from all geographical regions and countries of the world.

Soils constitute the largest store of terrestrial carbon. When managed sustainably, soils can play an important role in climate change adaptation and mitigation and enhance the provision of ecosystem services by storing carbon and decreasing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere.


André Leu, President of IFOAM – Organics International, presented his poster on the 4 per 1000 Initiative, signed by 31 countries and various international and national policy and scientific institutions. The Initiative is based on the finding that “4‰” annual growth rate of the soil carbon stock would make it possible to stop the present increase in atmospheric CO2 and aims to use a range of agricultural systems to sequester CO2 and store it in the ground as soil organic carbon (SOC).


As André Leu pointed out: “The widespread introduction of regenerative organic farming systems can make a considerable contribution to stabilizing atmospheric CO2. There is no need to invest in expensive, potentially dangerous and unproven technologies such as carbon capture and storage or geo-engineering. All that is needed is to scale up existing ‘shovel ready’ solutions and improve their rates of sequestration through further research.”  Download Andre’s poster presentation here.

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