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Overview of Africa’s potential as part of the global solution - success stories on the ground


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Andre Leu (Regeneration International)

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Overview of Africa’s potential as part of the global solution - success stories on the ground

  1. 1. « 4 per 1000 » Africa Symposium Johannesburg, 24-26th October 2018 With the support of Overview of Africa’s potential as part of the global solution Success stories on the ground With the support of1 André Leu, International Director Regeneration International Johannesburg, South Africa October 24, 2018
  2. 2. Mission:
 To promote, facilitate and accelerate the global transition to regenerative food, farming and land management for the purpose of restoring climate stability, ending world hunger and rebuilding deteriorated social, ecological and economic systems.
  3. 3. Climate Change • The world reached 400 ppm CO2 in 2016 – the highest level in 800,000 years • The last time the world had 400 ppm (based on evidence from fossil records) the sea levels were 20-30 meters higher • If we capped GHGs now, this will mean 3.5 to 5 C warmer (6-10 F) • CO2 has been increasing by 2 ppm per year •
  4. 4. • The extra heat becomes a huge amount of extra energy (billions of atomic bombs) fueling our planet’s weather systems • It means weather events such as storms, droughts, floods and fires become more frequent, intense, and destructive • Extreme 1 in 30 years events are now 1 in 5 years and getting worse • Causing food shortages, riots, famines, huge humanitarian crises - Arab Spring caused by drought Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents Stopping Emissions is NOT Enough We have to Draw Down CO2
  5. 5. “If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change,” Mr. Guterres said at United Nations headquarters in New York. “We must halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and change the way we farm.” Sept 10, 2018 Washington Post
  6. 6. Launched in Paris in Dec 1, 2015 this initiative aims to change farming from being a major CO2 emitter to becoming a major mitigator of CO2 by storing it in soil as soil organic matter The UNFCCC recognizes this initiative by French Government as part of the Lima – Paris action agenda 32 Countries, several regions, FAO, IFAD, GEF, World Bank, CGIAR and hundreds of NGOS have signed on.
  7. 7. Soils are the greatest carbon sink after the oceans Over 2700 Gt of carbon is stored in soils worldwide Biomass 575 Gt most of which is wood. Source (Lal 2008) Atmosphere 900 Gt 1 Gt (gigaton) = 1 billion tons It would be most logical to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere and put it into the soil – where it is needed Stopping Emissions is NOT Enough We have to Draw Down CO2
  8. 8. 
 Regenerative Agriculture is now being used as an umbrella term for the many farming systems that use techniques such as longer rotations, cover crops, green manures, legumes, compost, organic fertilizers Includes: organic agriculture, agro forestry, agroecology, permaculture, holistic grazing, intensively time managed grazing systems and other agricultural systems that can increase soil organic matter/carbon. 
 Regenerative Agriculture
  9. 9. We Must Stabilize CO2 Now!
 Ending fossil fuels and adopting renewal energy must be non-negotiable However it is happening too slowly to stop the current increase in CO2 levels and catastrophic climate change Need to draw down around 16 Gt of CO2 per year from the atmosphere just to stabilize CO2 levels at around 407 ppm Further scaling up to reduce CO2 levels
  10. 10. Innovative SEKEM: Egypt
 Aiming for the impossible…
  11. 11. …and changing our world … and after 18 months. Apply COMPOST
  12. 12. Carbon Sequestration Potential Sekem has sequestered 3,303 kgs of CO2 per hectare per year for 30 years. (Luske and van der Kamp, 2009; Koopmans et al, 2011) Based on these figures, the adoption of Sekem's practices globally has the potential to sequester 16 Gt of CO2
  13. 13. Pasture Cropping Sowing annuals into perennial pastures Oats Sown into Pasture Only a little bit of phosphate was added due to deficient soils Gives the same yield as intensive plowing and fertilizers, at a fraction of the cost Animals can go back on pasture after harvest- giving two crops and double income Pictures: Colin Seis
  14. 14. Pasture Cropping Dr Christine Jones has conducted research at Colin Sies’s property in Australia 168.5 t/ha of CO2 was sequestered in 10 years Extrapolated globally would sequester around 80 Gt of CO2 per year Increases in soil nutrients Calcium 177%, Magnesium 38%, Potassium 46%, Sulphur 57%, Phosphorus 51%, Nitrogen 48%, Copper 102%, Zinc 86%, Cobalt 79%, Boron 56%, Molybdenum 51%, Selenium 17% Soil Comparison between Winona and nearby property. Picture: Dr Christine Jones SOIL CARBON • 0 - 10cm 150% • 10 - 20cm 243% • 20 - 30cm 317% • 30 - 40cm 413% • 40 - 50cm 157%
  15. 15. Soil Carbon Sequestration Soil Kee, Australia • Sowing annual cover and cash crops in perennial pastures • 11.7 metric tons of CO2/ha/yr. • Verified by the Australian Government Soil Carbon Initiative • Extrapolated globally would sequester around 60 Gt of CO2
  16. 16. Soil Carbon Sequestration A highly aerated composting process developed by Dr David Johnson of New Mexico State University, that produces compost with a high diversity of soil microorganisms. 37.7 metric tons of CO2 per hectare per year - peer reviewed Extrapolated globally across agricultural lands it would sequester 184 Gt of CO2/yr Picture: Regeneration International BEAM (Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management)
  17. 17. Singing Frog Farm The Kaisers have managed to increase their soil organic matter from 2.4% to an optimal 7-8% in just six years, an average increase of about 3/4 of a percentage point per year - Chico State University USA Intensive no-til highly biodiverse agroecological vegetables on 2 acres Extrapolated globally across agricultural lands would sequester 350 Gt of CO2/yr
  18. 18. Regenerative/Holistic Grazing • Regenerates degraded rangelands • Increases biodiversity • Improves water infiltration • Increases stock carrying capacity • Sequesters CO2 • Biodegrades methane Pictures: Richard Teague Zimbabwe
  19. 19. Regenerative/Holistic Grazing ‘Here we show that these farms accumulated C at 8.0 Mg ha−1 yr−1.’ (Machmuller et al. 2015) 8.0 Mg ha−1 yr−1 = 8,000 kgs of Carbon being stored in the soil per hectare per year. Soil Organic Carbon x 3.67 = CO2, means that these grazing systems have sequestered 29,360 kgs (29.36 metric tons) of CO2/ ha/yr (Sequestered 29,360 pounds of CO2/ acre/yr) Grasslands: 3,356,940,000 ha x 29.36 = 98.5 gt CO2/yr If these regenerative grazing practices were implemented on the world’s grazing lands they would sequester 98.5 gt CO2/yr
  20. 20. Reversing Climate Change Just transitioning 10% of agricultural production to best practice regenerative systems will sequester enough CO2 to reverse climate change and restore the global climate. • 10% of Agricultural lands under BEAM could sequester 18.4 Gt of CO2/ yr. • 10% of grasslands under regenerative/holistic grazing could sequester 9.8 Gt of CO2/yr. • This would result in 28.2 Gt of CO2/yr being sequestered into the soil which far more than the 16 Gt of CO2 that is currently being emitted. We can have negative emissions and bring the world back to the pre industrial revolution levels in a few decades They are shovel ready solutions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  21. 21. Climate Resilience Soil Organic Matter Higher Yields in Climate Extremes Regenerative Organic Systems have higher yields than conventional farming systems in weather extremes such as heavy rains and droughts. (Drinkwater, Wagoner and Sarrantonio 1998; Welsh, 1999; Lotter 2004) The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials found that organic yields were higher in drought years and the same as conventional in normal weather years. (Posner et al. 2008) The Rodale FST showed that the organic systems produced 30 per cent more corn than the conventional system in drought years. (Pimentel D 2005, La Salle and Hepperly 2008)
  22. 22. Organic Matter Increases Infiltration 
 and Soil Stability ConventionalOrganic Picture: FiBL DOK Trials
  23. 23. • Increased soil stability • Higher yields in drought years • Increased soil C and N • Higher water infiltration • Higher water holding cap • Higher microbial activity Soil Organic Matter Mitigates and Adapts
  24. 24. Humus and Soil Organic Matter Holds up to 30X its weight in water Cements soil particles and reduces soil erosion Increases nutrient storage & availability Humus can last 2000 years in the soil Electron micrograph of soil humus
  25. 25. Improved Efficiency of Water Use Research Shows that Organic Systems use Water More Efficiently Volume of Water Retained /ha (to 30 cm) in relation to soil organic matter (SOM) 0.5% SOM = 80,000 litres (common level Africa, Asia, Australia) 1 % SOM = 160,000 litres (common level Africa, Asia, Australia) 2 % SOM = 320,000 litres 3 % SOM = 480,000 litres 4 % SOM = 640,000 litres (levels pre farming) 5 % SOM = 800,000 litres (levels pre farming) 6 % SOM = 960,000 litres (levels pre farming) Adapted from Morris, 2004.
  26. 26. Organic Corn - 1995 Drought Organic Conventional Better infiltration, retention, and delivery to plants helps avoid drought damage Picture: Rodale Institute
  27. 27. High Yield Regenerative Organic Agriculture The average corn yields during the drought years were from 28% to 34% higher in the two organic systems. The yields were 6,938 and 7,235 kg per ha in the organic animal and the organic legume systems, respectively, compared with 5,333 kg per ha in the conventional system (Pimentel et al. 2005) Lbs per Acre = Kg per ha (close enough)
  28. 28. High Yield Regenerative Organic Agriculture A report by the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) stated on Organic Agriculture: 114 projects in Africa covering 2 million hectares and 1.9 million farmers ‘…the average crop yield was … 116 per cent increase for all African projects and 128 per cent increase for the projects in East Africa.’ Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa 2008
  29. 29. Regenerative Organic High Yield The report notes that despite the introduction of conventional agriculture in Africa food production per person is 10% lower now, than in the 1960s. ‘The evidence presented in this study supports the argument that organic agriculture can be more conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and that it is more likely to be sustainable in the long term.’ Source: Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary general of UNCTAD and Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP 2008 The African Union has included Ecological Organic Agriculture as a part of its agriculture and food security programs
  30. 30. High over-grazing and burning
 Deep, wide and long erosion gullies
 Low soil organic matter
 Low soil fertility
 Serious food insecurity in dry years -many people died Tigray, Ethiopia
  31. 31. Whole of System Approach in Place Tigray, Ethiopia
  32. 32. Impact of using compost - Grain yields from over 900 samples from farmers fields over 7 years Average mean grain yields in kg/ha for 4 cereals and 1 pulse crop from Tigray, northern Ethiopia, 2000-2006 inclusive 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 Crop (n=number of observations/fields sampled) Barley (n=444) Maize (n=273) Faba bean (n=141) Check Compost Chemical fertilizer Published by FAO
  33. 33. Thank You