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Carbon Sequestration in Soils


A Statement by the WFS Permanent Monitoring Panel on Desertification

Erice - August 23, 1999

Desertification and climatic change are two problems of global dimensions. It is asserted that desertification threatens the livelihood of up to one billion people across a billion hectares worldwide. At the same time, the economic cost of climatic change in developing countries is expected to be several times higher than that in industrialized countries.

Based on long term scientific evidence, the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Desertification of the World Federation of Scientists believes that the large-scale application of practices that promote carbon sequestration in soils especially degraded, desertified soils constitutes one of the most practical and significant measures to mitigate global warming and combat desertification.

These carbon-sequestering practices exist today for a wide range of conditions and conform to the principles of sustainable development. The development and implementation of mechanisms for carbon trading and verification can benefit directly business sectors in need of carbon offsets, farmers whose livelihoods depend on the restoration of the resources they manage, and directly the global society and its environment. Implementation of carbon sequestering practices would allow developing countries to become active participants in the fight against climatic change.