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A Soil Scientist’s Perspective – Carbon Farming, CO2 Certification & Carbon Sequestration in Soil

Carbon farming is a new buzz word, hotly debated in the EU Commission, in European Ministries and Chambers of Agriculture, and the subject of numerous projects and movements. It is in fact proposed as an ecoscheme by the Commission.  So far, however, there is no binding definition of “carbon farming” and there seem to be many different understandings of the term. What most approaches have in common is the objective of storing carbon in the soil in some way. Soil Scientist Dr. Andrea Beste unpacks some important points for this contested approach to soil and land management. […]

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UK | Waking Up To The Power Of Mushrooms

Interest is mushrooming in the power of fungi to feed and heal people and the planet. On one urban farm in Bristol, England, mushrooms upcycled from wood chip are building topsoil as well as feeding the local eaters. Meanwhile another nearby mushroom growing initiative is giving wealthy landowners an incentive to preserve their woodland. Ursula Billington reports. […]

Latest from Brussels

The Common Agriculture Policy and Sustainable Farming: A statement by scientists (December 2020)

40 scientific experts have come together today to release a paper on the role CAP plays in trying to make farming sustainable. Below we republish the summary of this paper, and provide a link to download the paper in full. Led by Guy Pe’er, and including our own Matteo Metta, the paper is critical of both the initial CAP proposal by the Commission from 2018, and more critical again of the positions taken by the Council and Parliament in October 2020. Important reading in the current trilogue context. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Germany | Islanders Go Digital

If remote rural communities want to be part of the conversations that will shape their futures, the ability to connect with other projects and stakeholders is a crucial skill. For one island community, the coronavirus crisis was a crash course in online networking. Hannes Lorenzen reports on Eco-Week 2020 and the digital leap forward on his home island of Pellworm, Germany. […]

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Reforesting Portugal: Taking Communites From Extraction to Regeneration

From the ashes of Portugal’s devastating wildfires in 2017 rose Reflorestar Portugal, a national network for forest and ecosystem regeneration. In this interview for ARC2020, Susana GuimarĂŁes, coordinator of Reflorestar Portugal, speaks to Antonieta Lopes about empowering local communities to be guardians of the forest, moving from an extractive to a regenerative economy, and letting go of what has proven to be of no use to us. […]

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Dig a Little Deeper | Organics, Compost and Carbon

When it comes to carbon storage, a new peer reviewed publication shows the benefits of digging a little deeper. Researchers from University of California, Davis, found that compost is a key to storing carbon in semi-arid cropland soils.  The key to this study is the significant carbon storage benefits found below 30cm. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Czech Republic | “No Forests, No Water, No Future” – Part I: Bugs in the Ecosystem

Record droughts across Europe have been compounded in the Czech Republic by a plague of bark beetle that has jeopardized the nation’s forests. In a country where forestry and farming go hand in hand, every tree lost is a blow to the land, scuppering the soil’s capacity to store water and leaving it more vulnerable to erosion. To make matters worse, the vast fields of rapeseed that have become ubiquitous to Czech agriculture in recent years thanks to generous EU subsidies for biofuels have left the topsoil in a sorry state. […]

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20 Essential Earth Day Reads from ARC2020

Its Earth Day Monday 22nd and to celebrate we’ve selected our twenty favourite, most appropriate, most thought-provoking and compelling reads to get in the mood. From rewilding to climate change, pesticides bans to the role of livestock in climate-friendly farming, and a gripping personal account of front line action in the Paris COP 21 climate change talks….it’s all here! […]