Soil and Land Initiatives Seek to Spur Action Across SDGs

Recent research and initiatives undertaken by UN agencies, governments and NGOs highlight the links between soil health and the achievement of development goals and priorities related to climate change, agriculture, gender, biodiversity and poverty.

The Great Nutrient Collapse

Plants rely on both light and carbon dioxide to grow. If shining more light results in faster-growing, less nutritious plants, then it seemed logical to assume that ramping up carbon dioxide might do the same. What might that mean for the plants that people eat?

Author Judith Schwartz Examines Water Management

For Judith Schwartz’s most recent project, Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World, Schwartz delves into the little-known role the water cycle plays in planetary health, which she illustrates with vivid, empowering stories from around the world. While we might not be able to change the rate of precipitation, as land managers we can directly affect the speed that water flows off our land and the amount of water that the soil is able to absorb. Trees and other vegetation are more than passive bystanders at the mercy of temperature extremes — they can also be powerful influences in regulating the climate.

CGIAR Gets Serious About Soil Carbon as Home of 4p1000 Initiative

To help us halt the warming of our world, it is time to take a good look beneath our feet. Capturing soil carbon in soils is one of our best bets for mitigating significant greenhouse gas emissions.

At the recent Eat Forum in Stockholm, Johan Rockström and Walter Willet reminded us of this in their State of People and the Planet speech, which highlighted that reaching the Paris Agreement goal will be challenging and require an ‘agrarian revolution’, where our food system becomes part of a global roadmap for rapid decarbonization.