Introducing the Global Soil Health Programme

Female worker's hand lifting soil in a field

Restoring the health of the world’s soil at scale and on time

Monday 8 November 2021, 9.00am – 10.30am
Kelvin Gallery, University of Glasgow (and online)

This event outlined the vision and activities of the programme and included guest speaker presentations and a panel discussion.  

Guest speakers 

  • Professor Rattan Lal (The Ohio State University) 
  • Ronald Vargas (UN FAO) 
  • Arlene Cotie (Bayer) 
  • Leigh Ann Winowiecki (Coalition for Action on Soil Health) 
  • Bryan Taylor
  • Andy Beadle (BASF)
  • Jonatas Alves (UPL)
  • Hugh Harley (University of Sydney)
  • Kiran Sura (PWC)
  • Paul Luu (4 pour 1000)

Professors John Crawford (University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School) and Hugh Harley (School of Economics, University of Sydney) together with Alan Hendry (Director of Sustainability, Mott MacDonald) are working with a consortium of major corporates to implement a global framework for the improvement of soil health and the sequestration of carbon in soils. 

Carbon sequestration in soil offers both globally significant potential to reduce atmospheric carbon, and simultaneously, improve soil health to deliver additional water security and biodiversity benefits. This is within a context where, on current trajectories, up to 90% of soil, upon which we rely for food production and water management, will be degraded by 2050. 

Unlike carbon sequestration through tree planting, there is currently no global framework for carbon trading, accounting, or quality assurance for soil. Nor is there is a mechanism to link carbon emitters with the agricultural sector that can deliver carbon sequestration and thereby improved soil health. The Universities of Glasgow and Sydney are jointly leading the Global Soil Health Programme delivered via a precompetitive consortium including Bayer, BASF, UPL, RaboBank, Microsoft and PWC to address this.

The UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November 2021. The meeting brought countries together to work towards achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

Further information:

First published: 5 October 2021

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