The role of the 4p1000 initiative in defining research priorities for soil organic carbon under the sustainable development agenda

Dr Cornelia Rumpel1, Prof Farshad Amiraslani2, Prof Claire Chenu3, Prof Magali Garcia Cardenas4, Prof Beverley Henry5, Dr Martin  Kaonga6, Prof Lydie-Stella Koutika7, Prof Jagdish Ladha8, Dr Beata Madari9, Prof Yasuhito Shirato10, Prof Brahim Saoudi11, Dr Jean-Francois Soussana12, Dr David Whitehead13, Dr Eva Wollenberg14

1Cnrs, Thiverval-grignon, France, 2University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, 3AgroParisTech, Thiverval-Grignon, France, 4Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, , Bolivia, 5Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 6Cambridge Center for Environment, Cambridge, UK, 7CRDPI, Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo, 8University of California, Davis, USA, 9National Rice and Beans Research Center (Embrapa Arroz e Feijão), Santo Antônio de Goiás, Brazil, 10National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Japan, 11Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco, 12INRA, Paris, France, 13Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand, 14University of Vermont and CGIAR , Vermont, USA

Soil carbon sequestration may be the link between several sustainable development goals in particular those concerning climate, life on land, and no hunger. While SOC sequestration can contribute to partly offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, its main benefits are related to increased soil quality and climate change adaptation. The STC of the 4p1000 initiative established general criteria for informative assessment actions under 4p1000 framed by UN sustainable development goals. We also elaborated a research plan highlighting the main gabs to be addressed for successful implementation. Science is needed to define and test promising region and context specific agricultural management practices. For evaluation of impacts of these practices, quantitative ex-ante assessment and ex-post monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) strategies have to be developped and tested. Organic carbon baselines need to be established for specific situations. Finally, there is a need to quantify the socioeconomic impact of increased SOC sequestration to businesses, stakeholders and farmers. This requires not only inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration between scientists but also multi-stakeholder collaboration at the science-policy interface to demonstrate effects and put sustainable land management strategies into practice. The objective of this talk is to present the aims of the initiative, to identify barriers, risks and trade-offs and show how science based evaluation of critical issues can be useful in the context of collaboration between multiple parties in order to stimulate innovation and to initiate the transition of agricultural systems toward sustainability.


Cornelia Rumpel is a research director working for the French National Research Center (CNRS) at the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences Paris. She studied forestry in Germany and Scotland and received a master diploma from the Ludwig-Maximilans University at Munich, Germany in 1994. Afterwards, she worked as a research scientist at the Brandenbourg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany, where she obtained her PhD degree in natural sciences in 1999. she studied the origin and fate of terrestrial organic matter, aiming to understand the mechanisms controlling carbon sequestration in soils. Her studies concerned various spatial and temporal scales in different environments ranging from soils and sediments in mining areas to natural as well as managed ecosystems, including those affected by fire. Her work was carried out in temperate and tropical climates and the results of her research changed of a number of paradigms. She published >160 papers, which were cited more than 8000 times. In 2016 and 2017 she was listed as a highly cited researcher. She was nominated ambassador of the Technical University of Munich and has been the chair of the STC of the 4p1000 initiative since 2018.

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