Inspiration and carbon farming to drive sustainable innovations in Mediterranean agrosystems

Soil carbon farming can be defined as a business model that rewards farmers for increasing the ability of their fields to stock carbon over the long time. In other words, it is based on fostering life in the soil through the implementation of sustainable farming practices. To create opportunities in this field, at least three aspects must be considered: the principles that influence carbon fluxes in soils, how to select robust carbon monitoring systems, what are the steps that must be taken to actually generate extra revenues for the farmers. These aspects are broadly presented in the following sections.

Carbon is a key element of nature, the binding atom that allows all life forms to emerge. In its gaseous state, mainly carbon dioxide and methane, it is also responsible for the greenhouse effect that is overheating our planet. Unfortunately, fossil fuel-based economies are poorly aligned with the principles that regulate carbon fluxes. This section presents an overview on how carbon farming could affect these fluxes.   

While carbon farming could be a great idea for promoting a more sustainable use of resources by the agricultural sector, many barriers exist to the creation of environmentally sound carbon schemes. How different policies and financing mechanisms might contribute to foster impactful actions is briefly presented in this section. 

Designing and executing a carbon project is challenging. This section provides a rule-of-thumb approach intended to give directions to project developers and help land managers to understand the requirements for embarking in a carbon project.