The United Nations declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils, recognizing the importance of soil quality for promoting food security, sustainable agricultural development and essential ecosystem functions. In 2015, at the COP 21, several countries adopted a declaration to promote carbon sequestration in soils to mitigate climate change impact and increase food security: the 4 per 1000 initiative linked to the Sustainable Development Goals of UN for food security Challenge. This initiative will contribute to an improved understanding of carbon sequestration in soils used for agriculture in different pedo-climatic conditions.
There is a strong need to develop synergies on research in this area at the EU level. This is the reason why FACCE-JPI proposed a Thematic Annual Programming Network (TAP) on organic matter sequestration in the soil. It calls for international cooperation and coordination of research projects on the mechanisms and the assessment of the mitigation and adaptation potential related to organic matter storage in soils across regions, ecosystems and farming systems, taking regional variations into account to answer to the questions:
How organic matter can be sequestered in the soil in a long term perspective? What will be the nutrients budget and carbon sequestration under future climate change regimes?
Five types of drivers merit to be underlined as they are controlling geochemical cycles and organic matter residence time:
- Physical characteristics of the soil: pedology, matrix, porosity, erodibility …
- Interactions between the organic matter and the soil matrix
- Influence of human activities: farming practices, forests and wetlands management
- Nature of the organic matter: origin, refractory fraction
- Interactions with the biological activity and soil biodiversity
There is a strong need to bring together observations, measurements, mechanisms and modelling to develop an improved understanding of, and ability to assess, the nutrient budget and carbon storage potential of different soils under different environmental conditions and human practices. Proposals must address short term and long term issues for the storage evolution. Development of new concepts and theories would be welcome to address spatial and temporal change scales and saturation issues. Guidance and recommendations of the best practices for farmers, stakeholders and managers would be appreciated.
The Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) is inviting national research agencies to publish this topic in their national calls.
National funders will select projects in function of their national criteria and the national funded projects will be requested to join an international cluster organized by FACCE-JPI. Coordinators of projects will have to participate in annual working meetings to exchange on approaches, methods, data (exchange) and results. This will allow coordination between the individual projects and should lead to a greater impact at the European level as well as creating critical mass, addressing research gaps and avoiding duplication. Projects should foresee 7-10% of the total budget to be allocated to these networking activities.
National Calls information
The call text on Organic matter sequestration in soils will be published in the national calls of the following countries: Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Norway. In addition, projects from Germany, Italy and United Kingdom will also join the cluster.
- SPAIN: TAP Soil reference is included in the RTA Call 2017 (Resolution Art. 7.3) published in July 2017 in the INIA website. For more information: www.inia.es
- IRELAND: The Tap Soil topic is included in the Research Area A.6.1 in DAFM’s 2017 Competitive Research Funding Call. For more information: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/research/
- FRANCE: Tap Soil topic are included in the ANR action plan 2017 challenge 1 and challenge 5 . For more information: http://www.agence-nationale-recherche.fr/PA2017
- FINLAND: The funding instrument/program for TAP Soil is The Development Fund for Agriculture and Forestry (Makera). For more information: http://mmm.fi/en/research-and-development/funding-for-projects
- ITALY: TAP Soil topics are included in the Plan for Innovation and Research in agriculture, food and forestry sectors (PSIR) Area 2 - Climate change, biodiversity, soil functions and other ecosystem and social services from agriculture. For more information: https://www.politicheagricole.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/7801