Healthy and fertile soils are crucial for agricultural productivity, which is the backbone of Africa’s economy. Healthy soils may also be the climate solution beneath our feet. Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) refers to the soil organic content of soils. SOC plays an important role in soil fertility, water retention and the ability of soils to absorb greenhouse gasses (GHG). However, land-use change and land degradation within Africa is severely impacting the organic content of soils, leading to less productive soils and lands and the limited ability of soils to absorb and retain GHG. In order to harness the potential for SOC to promote development and support climate action, the Africa LEDS Partnership is facilitating the creation of a new Community of Practice (CoP) for SOC in Africa. The SOC CoP aims to raise ambition in Nationally Deter-mined Contributions (NDCs) as well as their Long-term Climate Mitigation Strategies (LTS).
The SOC-CoP has been designed to address various purposes such as networking, knowledge creation and sharing and providing policy and technical support. These activities are intended to serve the greater objective or goal of facilitating action on the ground. To do this, the CoP aims to support evidence-based implementation through closing the gap between policy and regulation on the national level and best practice on the farm level.
In order to achieve this, an important objective of the CoP would be to increase awareness for the value of SOC. Through sharing knowledge and lessons on effective management practices, monitoring, reporting and validation and co-benefits (both mitigation- adaptation co-benefits as well as socio-economic co-benefits) the CoP aims to create key feedback loops. These feedback loops will ensure that examples of best practice and implementation on the farm level inform national level planning, policy and reporting which in turn leads to government providing relevant support to farmers.