Author: Aria McLauchlan | Published: November 18, 2016
Less than a year after launching in Paris at COP21, french Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll kicked off the first official meeting of the “4 per 1000: Soils for Food Security and Climate” initiative (which champions the use of agricultural soils to act as a “carbon sink”), during an official side event of COP22 in Marrakech.
The meeting was organized into four distinct blocks: the Forum, “a consultation body” of the initiative’s participants and supporters, a Consortium, for determining strategic direction and governance (effectively a board of directors), a Scientific / Technical Committee, and the 4/1000 International Research Group.
The international agricultural and climate community showed enthusiastic support for the initiative, among nations and across sectors. Ministers of agriculture from Morocco and Spain joining Le Foll during the opening of the Consortium, as well as chief executives from the FAO of the UN and CGIAR. “I’m very happy to see how successful this initiative has become. We’ve got to keep the momentum going,” Le Foll announced.
An additional nine nations joined the initiative in the last year. There are now signatories from 34 nations, including Senegal which signed on during the day, and from hundreds of organizations from the civil society sector, businesses and research institutes.
The recognition of the global community’s growing consensus of the science supporting the vast potential of soils to sequester carbon, and the necessity of improving soil quality to ensure global food security was widely acknowledged throughout the day.
“COP22 has been dubbed the “COP of agriculture” and that is in large part due to the 4/1000 and its efforts to bring carbon sequestration to the forefront of the climate solutions conversation,” said Finian Makepeace, Director of Policy at Kiss the Ground.