The role of soil organic carbon in global carbon cycles is receiving increasing attention both as a potentially large and uncertain source of CO2 emissions in response to predicted global temperature rises, and as a natural sink for carbon able to reduce atmospheric CO2.
Magnitude of SOC loss since 1850 47 to 104 Pg for different biomes 66 to 90 Pg for major soils While the loss of SOC can be rapid, especially in soils of the tropical ecosystems, the rate of re-carbonization is extremely slow. The slow rate of re-sequestration is a major challenge to identifying appropriate land use and to promoting adoption of soil management systems that could create a positive soil/ecosystem C budget.
The SOC sequestration is caused by those management systems that add high amounts of biomass to the soil, cause minimal soil disturbance, conserve soil and water, improve soil structure, enhance activity and species diversity of soil fauna, and strengthen mechanisms of elemental cycling. Ecosystems with a high and attainable soil C sequestration potential are cropland, grazing/range land, degraded/desertified lands, and irrigated soils.
The SWSR report highlighted the most significant threats to soil functions on a global scale which included the loss of SOC
An extensive body of research has shown that land management practices can increase soil carbon stocks on agricultural lands with practices including: Cover cropping, addition of organic manures, conservation tillage, mulching, fertility management, agroforestry, and rotational grazing
What are the proven management practices that prevent SOC losses and foster SOC secuestration
The contributions should be adapted to site characteristics and land user needs and consider cost-benefit analyses and social impacts
The establishment of this open WG is an important activity as part of the GSP Pillar 1 to: “Promote sustainable management of soil resources for soil protection, conservation and sustainable productivity”
Updating 220 people answered the call 80 replied to the online questionnaire 130 actively participating Online participation and collaboration Formal format with the editorial rules Google docs for editing and correcting FINAL DRAFT
ITEM 11. Soil Organic Carbon Working Groups - Yusuf Yigini, Rosa Cuevas
Technical Manual on SOC
Ms. Rosa Cuevas
Historic trends in soil carbon stocks
Magnitude of SOC loss since
• 47 to 104 Pg for different
• 66 to 90 Pg for major soils
Status of the
Estimates of the historic C
loss are useful as a reference
point for assessing the
technical potential of C
resequestration in soil.
The rate of SOC sequestration
with adoption of
• Soil texture and structure
• Farming system
• Soil management
• Priority action should be to stabilize and/or
increase the global SOM stocks (e.g. SOC
and soil organisms).
• Each nation should identify locally
appropriate SOC-improving management
practices and facilitate their
Status of the World's Soil Resources
Recommendation 3: In estimates of the potential
for SOC sequestration, include the full GHG balance
and consider possible interactions between the
carbon and nitrogen cycles that could affect the
climate change mitigation potential of applied
Recommendation 4: The design of implementation
strategies and appropriate soil and land
management practices for SOC protection and
sequestration should consider land use and the
local environmental, socio-economic, cultural and
institutional contexts, and potential barriers to
Technical manual on SOC management at the
regional and sub-regional scale
• This WG represented a response to the urgent need to
identify and compile management practices and LUS
that promote the preservation and/or enhancement of
“Promote sustainable management of soil resources for
soil protection, conservation and sustainable
management practices and
actions for preservation
and/or enhancement of
1. Unmanaged and Protected Lands
(including virgin forests, rangelands,
2. Forestry (managed/silviculture).
3. Forestry with agricultural or livestock
activities: agroforestry, silvopastoral
4. Grassland, shrublands, and bare and
sparse areas with low, moderate, and high
5. Rainfed agriculture - subsistence and
6. Rainfed agriculture – commercial.
7. Irrigated agriculture.
8. Rainfed or irrigated agriculture with
9. Urban areas.
10. Wetlands with agricultural activities.
Structure of the technical manual on SOC management
• Description of the practice: Region and/or country where the practice can
be applied, measurements and evidence-based results with the adequate
statistical accuracy (include data from meta-analysis).
• Context: Local environmental, socio-economic, cultural and institutional
• Trade-offs: Possible synergies and co-benefits or conflicts with other
• Potential barriers to adoption: Considerations for adoption within the
cultural and socio-economic context. Possible side effects that could
negatively affect the climate change mitigation potential of the practice.
• Benefits and management recommendations: Soil processes that enable
SOC preservation and/or increase, case studies and success stories of
effective practice adoption and achieved SOC/SOM
• Potential of C sequestration: For the recommended management
practices, including the possible trade-offs of SOC sequestration efforts
when assessing the full GHG balance.
Structure of the technical manual on SOC management
Dr. Rosa Poch (Spain). ITPS Chair
Dr. Lucía Helena Cunha dos Anjos (Brazil). ITPS Pillar 5 Chair
Dr. Matshwene Edwin Moshia III (South Africa)
Dr. Edmond Hien (Burkina Faso)
Dr. David Allen Lobb (Canada)
Dr. Costanza Calzolari (Italy)
Dr. Fernando Garcia Préchac (Uruguay)
Dr. Peter de Ruiter (The Netherland)
Dr. Nsalambi Vakanda Nkongolo (DRC)
ITPS working group on soil organic
• Submission of chapters – by 30 November 2018
• Editing to harmonize chapters (ITPS/GSP Secretariat, feedback
process with lead authors) - by 30 December 2018.
• Review by ITPS/UNCCD-SPI/IPCC and other stakeholders – by
31 January 2019.
• Preparation of final version – by 30 March 2018.
• Final review and clearance by ITPS – by 30 April 2018
• Layout and printing – by 30 May 2019.
• Launch of the Technical Manual on Soil Organic Carbon
management at the regional and sub-regional scale during the
seventh Plenary Assembly of the Global Soil Partnership – from
5 to 7 June 2019.