One of the most important actions that resulted from the Paris Climate Change Summit was the launch of the 4-1000th Initiative. This was an initiative by the French government to increase the organic matter in their soils by 4/1000th each year. Kudos to them.
The 4-1000th Initiative is the simplest, least expensive, and doable actions to mitigate and reduce the unhealthy levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It encourages countries, organizations, farmers, corporations to work on increasing the carbon content of their agricultural soils.
Not only will this initiative sequester carbon from the atmosphere it will increase the fertility of the soil, increase the biodiversity of the soil ecosystem, reduce erosion, build soil instead of degrading them, and increase food production.
What is the 4-1000th Initiative?
Basically, it is putting more carbon back into the soil. This is what organic agriculture, permaculture, biodynamic agriculture, EcoAgriculture, etc. all work to achieve. “Feed the soil” and the plants will be healthy and nutritious.
It is quite gratifying that the governments of the world have clued into the fact that the way that our food is presently produced by the industrial agricultural complex is not healthy for our planet and that things need to change.
The aim of the Initiative is to demonstrate that agriculture, and agricultural soils in particular, can play a crucial role where food security and climate change are concerned.
Based on robust scientific evidence, the Initiative therefore invites all partners to declare or to implement practical programmes for carbon sequestration in soil and the types of farming methods used to promote it (e.g. agroecology, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, landscape management).
The goal of the Initiative is to engages stakeholders in a transition towards a productive, resilient agriculture, based on a sustainable soil management and generating jobs and incomes, hence ensuring sustainable development.
What can you do to help with the 4-1000th Initiative and Climate Change?
Though the 4-1000th Initiative is directed at large entities like countries, business, organizations and such you too can help to sequester organic materials. The way that you can accomplish this by composting, worm composting, and leaf molding. You can also go to the other end of helping the human race by reducing the amount that your actions increase the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere. If we also reduce the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere and help sequester it then that will deliver the fastest result.
What is the fastest way to build up your bank account? Is it only to add more money to it or rather, to add money to the account AND reduce the amount coming out of it? think of our soil as a bank account.
So first off how can you reduce the amount of carbon that you contribute to the atmosphere:
- Eat less meat: Try Meatless Mondays.
- Insulate your home and reduce air exchange
- Don’t idle your car
- Reduce your use of fossil fuels (electricity, gasoline, natural gas in your home)
- Use public transit, bicycle, or another form of active transportation instead of your own vehicle
- Buy organic foods (preferably that are grown close to where you live). Organic agriculture is regenerative and helps achieve the 4-1000th Initiative because one of the founding tenants of organic agriculture is to ‘feed the soil’.
- Grow a garden (organically of course).
Now that you are on the path of reducing how much carbon you are producing let’s work on how you can easily be part of the 4-1000th Initiative.
Even if you don’t own a garden you can participate in the sequestration of carbon into the soil. You can worm compost, compost, and leaf mold.
Several years ago I created a site to share my knowledge on composting, leaf molding and taking care of our trees. I have not updated it in years but there is lots of information there regarding these subjects.
Imagine if we each took those bags of leaves in the back alleyways and turned them into a beautiful and useful product that enriches our planet rather than degrading it.
Please check out my website Composting Edmonton
for details how you can Leaf Mold because soon the leaves are going to start to fall and w can collectively make a significant difference in the amount of leaves going to the waste system.
Here are some other resource pages that may be of interest to you:
- City of Edmonton Composting Resources (they have done a great job of promoting composting but more can be done)
Back in December 2015 I even wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to encourage him to sign onto this initiative. I also suggested that he started his own garden, grow organically, and be a role model of planet stewardship. No response.
In September 2016, California announced an initiative to redirect organic materials from landfills to farmer’s field. Check out the article at RegenerationInternational.Org
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