Global Soil Partnership

Assessing the potential to sequester soil organic carbon: where are we?

What role do soils have in mitigating GHG emissions?

Argentina along other countries lead the way in answering this important question and more as the Global Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration Potential Map (GSOCseq) initiative enters the data collection phase


The Global Soil Organic Carbon sequestration potential map (GSOCseq) is starting to take shape as FAO Member Countries have begun sharing their results and main findings to this global yet country-driven initiative.

The national submissions are being created by modelling the potential of soils to sequester organic carbon under four different soil management scenarios, varying in the degree of adoption of sustainable soil management practices, simulated 20 years into the future. The GSOCseq modelling and mapping exercise is currently enabling countries to draw important conclusions regarding the potential of soils to mitigate emissions at the national scale. GSOCseq is the first attempt of its kind to provide a data-driven base to set attainable national targets on carbon sequestration.

Entering the map collection phase has meant the culmination of more than two years of hard work involving several technical networks, numerous rounds of review and finally the important contributions of the officially mandated national experts.

Unlocking the potential of soil organic carbon, the most important indicator of soil organic matter, could bring about enormous benefits not only in terms of climate change but also food security. The use of four different scenarios is allowing countries to identify and highlight agricultural areas where the potential to sequester significant amounts of carbon is still untapped. Furthermore, the quantification of just how much carbon could be potentially sequestered will be crucial for the delineation of financial incentive-schemes under the RECSOIL program leading to a game-changing shift in the way soils are managed globally. Find out more

Several countries are leading the way in summarizing and interpreting the results from their national GSOCseq layers through the accompanying GSOCseq Country Reports. The reports will be made available on the GSP-website with the launch of the GSOCseq. For the time being, the GSP-Secretariat is delighted to see the growing number of use-cases and will be highlighting upon request, starting with Argentina, the important work being performed so far.

The results from Argentina’s GSOCseq layers and Report indicate that without the introduction of Sustainable Soil Management (SSM), agricultural systems are and will be in the next 20 years a net source of CO2. However, based on the results of simulations from different scenarios, the introduction of SSM practices oriented to increase C inputs to agricultural soils could potentially mitigate up to 48 % of Argentina's agricultural emissions. Argentina’s GSOCseq submission was created by the National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA) and the Ministry of Agriculture of Argentina, with the collaboration of the GSP Secretariat. More details and additional findings can be found in Argentina’s GSOCseq Report.

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