Grasslands Carbon Working Group

Welcome to the Grasslands Carbon Working Group (GCWG)!

The grasslands, representing rangelands, grazing land, agro-silvo pastoral systems, and cultivated pastures, are recognized as important to meeting the world community’s global climate change objectives as this resource:

  • Represents the largest potential terrestrial carbon sink;
  • Can be managed to significantly increase/restore carbon sequestration at a landscape scale;
  • Provides solutions to both mitigating and adapting to climate change; and
  • Provides multiple co-benefits including increased food and water security and enhanced agricultural biological diversity to improve the lives of millions of people whose lives depend on these environments.

The GCWG came together as an adhoc group of experts including representatives from biophysical and social sciences, farmers’ and pastoralists’ organizations, development organizations, carbon trading groups, and intergovernmental organizations among others for the purpose of:

Providing up-to-date science- and market-based information for land managers, scientists, development practitioners, traders and policy makers in support of sustainably managed grasslands as a means to adapt to and mitigate the impact of global climate change.

After two face-to-face workshops (US, 2008 and Italy, 2009), the GCWG works on the premise of sharing and synergy to uplift the grasslands on the global agenda - with a particular focus on the UNFCCC processes.

Get involved

The group constellates around four main thematic including: research, monitoring and measurement; advocacy; carbon trading and payment for environmental services; and education and information for grassland managers. Please take advantage of what is already available on this website and help us make it better. We invite you to join the GCWG and participate through the on-going conversation of the GCWG (DGroups), post documents and presentations for the knowledge base; edit a wiki; tell us about a project; go twittering or let us know about an upcoming event, among other forms of collaboration. We look forward to working with you to ensure that grasslands, perhaps underappreciated in the past, are recognized as a substantial avenue for ecosystem health and food security. Those who manage vast areas of grasslands – particularly those pastoralists, shepherds and livestock keepers - must be recognized and remunerated for the ecosystem services they steward and for the numbers of livelihoods they support and for the unmatched role that healthy grasslands play in achieving sustainable and nutritious food producing landscapes.

With regards, The GCWG Secretariat

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