Any viable approach to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) requires addressing soil, which is the foundation of both healthy natural and agricultural systems. Since soil organic matter (SOM) is considered a major arbiter of soil health and can be built up or broken down by land management, it is the most relevant target for human wellbeing and conservation interventions. However, despite wide acknowledgment of the importance of SOM, there are no reliable, quantitative targets for the amount of SOM required to achieve SDG-relevant impacts, such as carbon sequestration and nutrient reduction in waterways.
This Working Group is working to improve science-based soil management by quantifying the relationships between: SOM and crop yield, livestock value, carbon storage, biodiversity outcomes, and nutrient retention. The Working Group aims to provide quantified, data-based estimates of the potential specific management strategies have to build up soil carbon (reducing CO2 stocks), increase grassland biodiversity, and reduce nutrient loss from agriculture to water systems.
This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, Angela Nomellini and Ken Olivier, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.