EVA VANDEST is Group Head of Public Affairs for independent solar power producer, the Amarenco Group, and chair of a European agrisolar workstream. She promotes synergies between agricultural and solar sectors, to bring regenerative agriculture and solar production to rural areas. Here she describes the work of “The International 4 per 1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate” in uniting individuals, communities, and organizations to improve the quality of the Earth’s soils.
We are all concerned by Climate Change, the loss of biodiversity, as well as water and food security. Unfortunately, indicators do not lead to optimism. 75% of the world’s soils are already degraded to varying degrees due to human activity – they are either degraded or highly degraded.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the U.N. (FAO) states that if we do not act now, more than 90% of the Earth’s surface soils could be degraded by 2050. The death of soils has disastrous consequences for their capacity to capture and store carbon emissions, for water and food security, and for the prosperity of farmers and their families. Our capacity to feed the human population of the Earth in 2050 will depend greatly on our ability to keep our soils alive.
The health of soils, which is mainly indicated by sufficient organic matter, is closely correlated with agricultural production and practices. Stable and productive soils directly foster the resilience of farms to cope with the effects of climate disruption, and help maintaining biodiversity.
“The International 4 per 1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate” aims to demonstrate that agriculture and forestry, in particular agricultural and forestry soils via natural carbon storage through photosynthesis, can play a crucial role in food security and climate change.
Launched by France in December 2015 during COP 21, 4p1000 confederates all voluntary, public, and private stakeholders, including national, local, and regional governments and authorities, companies, professional organizations, NGOs, research establishments, etc., within the framework of the Global Climate Action Plan (GCAP). Based on solid science, it invites all partners to promote and implement concrete action for soil carbon storage.
With 700 members together engaged in the regeneration of soils, 4p1000 also communicates the seriousness and the emergency of the situation, bringing awareness that each individual, each community, each organization, private or public, can join together to bring radical changes in practices, to restore the balance essential for our Earth system.
Governments and large organizations have the greatest power to make a difference, and can have the most impact. However, each one of us can and must act. Living a more harmonious life not only guarantees the resources essential to our survival as a human species, it also makes us happier. For too long happiness has been associated with a lifestyle of overconsumption, creating more and more unattainable desires.
Noise, light, and electrical pollution excite our nervous systems to the point where we can no longer sleep, and suffer from depression and burn out. Overcrowded and isolated in ever larger and more complex cities, the loss of simplicity and the direct link with nature makes us unhappy. Sometimes we go so far that we “crack.” One day, we wake up and want to change our lives, little by little.
We quickly discover that the right people are there to accompany us. The world is full of ideas and solutions that allow us to rediscover ourselves and design our individual and collective destiny. Absolute confidence and a firm will lead us inexorably to success.
4p1000 is an official supporting partner of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
To learn more and be involved:
- Understanding the 4 per 1000 Initiative in 3’30 https://www.youtube.com/embed/xohnOdgz-C4
- Why are soils important for the climate? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORncZnlKOZg
- The Strategic Plan of the 4 per 1000 Initiative https://4p1000.org/sites/default/files/english/en_strategic_plan.pdf
- 4 per 1000 at a glance https://4p1000.org/sites/default/files/francais/ok_4pour1000_gb_v2.jpg
- List of the consortium members and forum partners: https://4p1000.org/sites/default/files/francais/original_partenaires_membres.pdf
Eva is Group Head of Public Affairs at Amarenco, a European Solar IPP. As chair of an agrisolar workstream in Europe, she promotes synergies between agricultural and solar sectors to tackle climate change adaptation. She stands for ecological transition, promoting regenerative agricultural solutions combined with solar energy production in rural areas. Eva has a Master’s... Read more