Environmental Commissioner’s Report Promotes Increasing Soil Carbon

Published on: 2013/03/27 - in Featured Science & Tech

A roundtable study by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Gord Miller, has released a report entitled “Investing in Soils for a Sustainable Future” that outlines the benefits of increasing carbon content in our soil.

The report summarizes presentations made at the roundtable by a group of international experts and stakeholders who discussed the opportunities and challenges of increasing soil carbon and building healthy soils.

“Farmers are vulnerable to climate change,” said the Commissioner, “but they are not helpless. As one roundtable participant put it: agriculture is 10 percent of the problem, but 20 percent of the solution. These numbers may be rough approximations, but they convey an important truth: there is much that farmers can do to both mitigate climate change and to adapt to it.”

Their conclusion – that raising the organic-matter level in soils through the careful management of soil – would enable farmers to better moderate future and current effects from climate change, while also cleaning water, guarding biodiversity, and ensuring productive farmland for subsequent generations.

“Our roundtable revealed a high level of agreement that society should share these new costs (evolving practices and new equipment) and risks with farmers,” said Miller. “The important question that remains is how to go about doing that fairly and cost-effectively.”

Today’s report summarizes the roundtable presentations, as well as the Commissioner’s personal take on the proceedings and resulting discussions  made by a variety of Ontario stakeholders including farmers, academics, and government.

You can download the report and watch videos of the presentations at this Environmental Commissioner of Ontario webpage.


Photo (tractor w. tilt-shift effect): Raúl Hernández González (cc)