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February 20, 2023

COP27 Climate: advocating for soil health

Soil health includes impact on climate, biodiversity, carbon, water, fertility

"Because we are already living in a world of 1.2 degrees change, and it's already becoming unlivable for many, as we have heard so often this week, as many in this world can testify that this is their reality. Because the world is watching us. And because they will not forgive us if we fail - again - to prevent the worst."

Thus ended the COP27 Climate in Sharm-el-Sheikh with the words of Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for the Green Pact.
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For the first time at a COP, nature-based solutions, including soil-based solutions, were widely highlighted. Egypt devoted a full day to agriculture, and the strategic role it must play in achieving our environmental goals.

One of the challenges is to move towards an agriculture with a positive impact not only on carbon emissions, but also onwater and biodiversity. The impact on fertility remains a 4th issue that is not really taken into account but whose importance remains crucial for the growing needs of food production.
In this regard, Genesis welcomes the draft resolution on soil health carried by the CA4SH coalition. Its official presentation on November 11th was one of the highlights of the COP. If the subject is on the European agenda, it must now go beyond the borders and be part of the international agenda.

Measuring the impact of change in its entirety, i.e. on the 4 pillars mentioned above, is essential. One cannot go without the other. These 4 pillars together determine the soil health, and therefore justify a sustainable supply of agriculture, forestry and all bio-sourced activities.

This is why, alongside OP2B, LVMH and Danone, and David Montgomery, Genesis has taken the floor as a referent for measuring the impact of change with industrial leaders, but also as a collector of data in order to define models and be able to accompany the transition by adapting practices to the climate in which they evolve. Measuring their impact not only justifies the practices implemented, but also the desire to increase social and environmental responsibility, which benefits both people and the economy.

David R. Montgomery, Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, in his introductory speech to this event dedicated to regenerative agriculture entitled "Regenerative Agriculture for Farmers, Nature and Climate" points out:

"if we look at soil as our most undervalued natural resourceand we think about the global challenge of reinvesting in that resource, then for future generations will be able to farm sustainably in a post oil world, all we need to think about is how we are going to measure and track it, and how we are going to actually get there! It's a challenge but fundamental to it, is rethinking how we consider the soil in agriculture, rethinking our basic philosophy of farming.
In short, we need a new agricultural Revolution that
prioritizes rebuilding soil health as the primary means to evaluate the viability of farming practices. And I think it's a feasible Revolution to think about. It's a philosophical rather than a technological [revolution] one, but there's lots of room for technology to contribute to enhancing soil health around the world."

Complete replay of the roundtable For a regenerative agriculture at the service of agriculture, nature and climate at COP27 from 4'40'00

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