Carbon rich soil is healthy and beneficial for the entire ecosystem, based on previous and growing research. Ecosystem health is increased as soil carbon increases, resulting in improved water infiltration and retention; soil stability nutrient status, access and retention; diversity of fungi, microbes, plants, and insects; wildlife diversity, nutrition and habitat; livestock health and output; and farmer net profits, resilience and well-being. Healthy ecosystems with high levels of soil carbon and soil microbial biomass, diversity and function provide valuable ecosystem services (benefits humans gain from nature), which increase the sustainability of farming, enhance natural pest control, boost yields, and reduce costs, thereby increasing profitability.
However, many traditional agricultural practices damage the very ecosystems on which they rely to function optimally. Intensive farming methods, such as extensive soil ploughing, inorganic fertiliser and pesticide use, damage fragile ecosystems over time, reducing yields, and thus often prompting even more intensive farming. This ultimately leads to land that is damaged beyond repair and no longer suitable for grazing or cropping farming.