Global Soil Partnership

RECSOIL - Recarbonization of Global Soils

About the initiative

Within the framework of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP) launched RECSOIL - Recarbonization of Global Soil, a promising greenhouse gases (GHG) offsetting option to decarbonize the economy, based on the implementation of sustainable soil management practices (soil organic carbon-centered) on a large scale.

Background information

Land degradation decreases the capacity of global soils to provide ecosystem services and store carbon, which magnifies global threats such as climate change. As part of a natural process, healthy soils contribute to climate change mitigation as they can store carbon in its most stable forms for thousands of years. Conversely, poorly managed and degraded soil releases carbon into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, exacerbating global warming. Despite the fact that soil is the main reservoir of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems and agro-ecosystems, it is estimated that we have lost 25 to 75 percent of this carbon, which is released into the atmosphere due to soil degradation. Therefore, it is crucial to manage soils sustainably in order to allow carbon retention. According to the latest IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land, increasing the carbon content of soil is one of the most cost-effective options for climate change adaptation and mitigation and for combating desertification, land degradation and food insecurity.

Main objective

The main objective of RECSOIL is to support and improve the national and regional GHG mitigation and carbon sequestration initiatives. By preventing soil organic carbon losses and increasing its stocks in agricultural and degraded soils, RECSOIL will not only contribute to mitigate climate change through 'Nationally determined contributions' of Parties within the UNFCCC framework, but also enhance farmer income by fostering soil productivity, contribute to improved food security and nutrition, provide ecosystem services in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How does it work

Qualifying projects focussing on maintaining soil organic carbon in the soil (and, where feasible, increasing its sequestration potential), will be awarded credits for GHGs mitigated and carbon sequestered. The program includes financial incentives for carbon mitigation and sequestration, in accordance with industry standards and in line with the “1 credit = 1 t CO2e” standard. The Marketplace & Clearinghouse will enable and promote a liquid, generic market for soil-based credits, allowing carbon credits to be traded following a robust methodology. Thus, carbon sequestered due to sustainable soil management produces additional relevant benefits to the farmer: yields can increase, biotic and abiotic resilience of crops improves, and carbon and ecosystem services lost through traditional farming recover.

Requirements

RECSOIL is an innovative tool, composed of various components that will be defined and designed with detail according to each country’s situation and in agreement with local authorities. As an initial and very schematic design, you can refer to the followings:

  1. Technical feasibility (Current SOC stocks and SOC sequestration potential)
  2. Committed farmers (Farmer associations)
  3. Agreement to work with RECSOIL (farmers and RECSOIL)
  4. Provision of technical support and financial incentives
  5. Implementation of good SOC practices
  6. Measuring, reporting and verification (GSOC-MRV and SSM Protocols feeding a Global SOC Monitoring System)
  7. RECSOIL Market Place: SSM and RECSOIL Labels and/or Carbon Credit

Interested stakeholders

According to the GHG Inventories, presented by every country to the IPCC, main anthropogenic emitting activities must move in the direction of a low carbon economy. The Paris Agreement and other negotiations define how each country, activity, industry and individual company should mitigate their emissions. All of these stakeholders will benefit by mobilizing resources and participating in projects of their interest in accordance with national programs.

PARTNERS are the key stakeholders that enable financial and carbon credit flows, strategic overview and other benefits for RECSOIL implementation and development.

FARMERS that commit themselves to sequester carbon will be potential beneficiaries of financial or commercial benefits, according to  national implementation. In so doing, they will mitigate GHGs emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change.

More information

To financially support the RECSOIL initiative and for more information on its development and implementation, please contact [email protected] and [email protected].

Watch the dedicated RECSOIL webinar. Download the RECSOIL publication in English or Spanish. Read the article.