18th April 2013

Rap Workshop Gives Voice to the Benefits of Soil Carbon 

Climate change, degraded land and water and the urgent and growing demand for food; how do we address these pressing global challenges?

The SCOPE Rapid Assessment Project (RAP) hopes to find some of the answers by highlighting the multiple benefits of soil carbon and its role in delivering a sustainable future. Soil carbon was featured by the United Nations Environment Programme 2012 Yearbook as one of the top two emerging areas that offer exceptional international opportunity to address the demands on our planet.Benefits of soil carbon

Professor Steven Banwart, Director of the Kroto Research Institute, has engaged with SCOPE, the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment. He is joined by co-chair Professor Elke Noellemeyer of Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Argentina. This international and cross-sector network of experts in the field of the environment and ecology will lead the effort in delivering a sustainable 21st century.

The Kroto Research Institute is proud to announce the success of the first milestone of this crucial global collaboration. Organised by Kroto colleague Debbie Hill, Research Administrator to Prof Banwart, the Benefits of Soil Carbon Workshop held 18-22 March 2013 was a huge success. Hosted by the European Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre at Ispra, Italy, the workshop brought together 40 leading experts from Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America with a broad range of disciplines to integrate the existing scientific knowledge on the benefits of soil carbon. The keynote address was provided by Professor Jerry Melillo, Chair of the US National Climate Change Assessment and an opening video address was given by Nobel Prize winner Professor Sir Harry Kroto.

Experts prepared 27 authoritative background chapters of science evidence during the 6 months prior to the workshop. During the five day event, participants drafted four cross-cutting chapters that will identify knowledge gaps, research requirements and policy innovations to create new solutions to the challenges of saving the world’s soil and it’s central role in providing food, and clean water and helping to regulate climate.
By the end of 2013 the RAP will publish science-led recommendations on new policy approaches and land management practices. Together with an executive summary, the chapters will form a SCOPE Science monograph (the series currently stands at volume No. 70). Outputs will also include high-profile policy briefs to flag the main conclusions and recommendations, and to guide implementation, and an authoritative review for a high-impact international journal.

Benefits of soil carbon group photoBenefits of soil carbon group photo

Further information:

Prof Steve Banwart (http://www.shef.ac.uk/civil/staff/academic/sab)
Elke Noellemeyer (http://www.agro.unlpam.edu.ar/index.php)
For further information contact: Debbie Hill

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