Giving Compass' Take:

• Food Tank highlights a U.N. Environment Programme report showing that land-use practices that store carbon could be key in the fight against climate change.

• How can funders help farmers and communities increase their soil quality? How does climate determine local ideal soil quality? 

• Learn how well-maintained soil can help fight climate change. 

A report from the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) finds that carbon soil sequestration holds huge potential both to improve soil health and create carbon sinks that reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and combat climate change.

Soil carbon sequestration is the process of storing atmospheric carbon in soil through regenerative land-use and agricultural practices. This accomplishes the dual aims of reducing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide—which is directly linked to the rising of global temperatures—and improving soil health, leading to higher yields, nutrient density, and other agroecological benefits.

Industrial agricultural practices have typically produced higher yields, but have also contributed to negative environmental effects including biodiversity loss, freshwater pollution, and soil erosion. Current agricultural practices lead to losses of 20 billion tons of fertile topsoil each year—roughly equivalent to the land area of Greece. Agriculture carries a high carbon footprint, as well: according to the report, the sector is responsible for 25 percent of worldwide anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the full article on how soil can help curb climate change by Thea Walmsley at Food Tank.