Improving Africa’s soils to cut emissions and boost food security

Dr Keith Shepherd is a principal soil scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Dr Rolf Sommer is a principal soil and climate change scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Together they lead the Restoring Degraded Landscapesresearch theme of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

How we manage soils is crucial to tackling climate change. Today is Earth Overshoot Day, which aims to highlight the moment each year when our use of the planet’s resources tips into “overdraft”. The day helps to highlight why restoring landscapes, particularly soils, has benefits for food security, livelihoods and the climate.

The top metre of soils around the world contains about three times as much carbon as in our entire atmosphere. This means that soils can be a double-edged sword for tackling climate change.



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