Sequestering Carbon in Soil Addressing the Climate Threat

  • 08th May 2017
  • by secretary

3-5 May 2017. Paris, France. Sequestering Carbon in Soil Addressing the Climate Threat. The world must pursue “net negative emissions” strategies to have a reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

All scenarios for keeping global temperature change below 1.5°C or 2°C involve carbon sequestration. Agricultural soils, grasslands, and wetlands are huge potential sinks for carbon if properly managed. This conference will explore the state of our scientific understanding, results from field trials, emerging policy frameworks, and proposals to accelerate progress and build the field of soil based carbon sequestration globally.

Five objectives:

  1. Identify and convene influential experts, scientists, practitioners, public officials, and philanthropists to accelerate progress and build the field of soil-based carbon sequestration.
  2. Showcase research, pilot projects, policies, financial structures, and incentives for hastening adoption of carbon sequestration best and emerging practices.
  3. Explore tangible action plans and initiatives with the potential to help ensure a global carbon budget that keeps global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C.
  4. Prioritize systems thinking and a conference agenda that explores the many co-benefits of returning carbon to soil
  5. Identify needed next steps for research, policy initiatives, action campaigns and Investment opportunities.


  • Facilitator – Patrick Holden, Founder, Sustainable Food Trust
  • Kofi Boa (picture), Farmer, Director, Center for No Till Agriculture 
  • Christine Jones, Founder, Amazing Carbon
  • Seth Watkins, Farmer, Pinhook Farms

From California to Australia – what policies are helping farmers shift to soil carbon sequestration (SCS) and soil building practices? A look at federal, provincial, regional and global policy frameworks that support wider adoption of healthy soil practices and SCS.

  • Facilitator: Renata Brillinger, California Climate & Agriculture Network
  • Luca Montanarella, Action Leader in Soil, European Commission
  • Jenny Lester Moffitt, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, California
  • Thembi Mwamakamba (picture), Climate Smart Agriculture Programmes Manager, Food, Agriculture abd Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

GRAIN and the Institute for Trade and Agriculture Policy (IATP) April 2017 have produced a hard-hitting fact sheet pointing to the huge role of the industrial meat and dairy complex in destabilising our climate and how we can address it. This fact sheet is a concise call to action, released as two major funder alliances gather in Barcelona and then Paris to assess and strategise on these issues.

The fact sheet argues that it’s not just a matter of eating less meat. “Citizens and social movements need to get more aware about and mobilise support for small farmers’ and pastoralists’ production systems and local markets” stressed Henk Hobbelink, coordinator of GRAIN. “We need food system change, not just individual consumer action.”

This fact sheet is based on GRAIN, “Grabbing the bull by the horns: it’s time to cut industrial meat and dairy to save the climate,” January 2017, and IATP research on industrial-meat.
24-28 April 2017. Barcelona. Based on the pillars of people power, systemic alternatives and progressive philanthropy, the program was designed to engage participants into deep debates about the systemic challenges the world is facing today and how to overcome them.

WORKSHOP 5: 100% Agroecology, Land & Food Sovereignty: Beyond the Technical Fixes
Agroecology is powerful. And in fashion. Social movements, with the support of philanthropy and in alliance with a broad range of actors, seek to create new food systems with agroecology at their center. Agroecology is understood not as a simple set of technical practices, but fundamental to agrarian reform and food sovereignty.

This workshop looked at how philanthropy has and can play a vital role in supporting social movements to challenge the power of the industrial food system, offer authentic solutions to climate change and put small scale food producers center-stage again.

The aim of the session was to further collaboration between philanthropy and civil society organizations to co-create sustainable food systems rooted in social justice.


  • Moderator: Henk Hobbelink, GRAIN
  • Elizabeth Mpofu (picture) – La Via Campesina
  • Rosalinda Guillen – Community 2 Community
  • Inga Wachsmann – Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer – FPH

Funders: European Funders for Sustainable Agriculture and Food (EFSAF), AgroEcology Fund, Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer (FPH), Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation, TheGlobal Alliance for the Future of Food