Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Ag Research Supremo declares Soil Carbon the “Hot Topic”

Soil Carbon was not listed as a special topic at the Australian Farm Institutes Agriculture, Greenhouse and Emissions Trading Summit last week – but it got more than a fair go, with many speakers referring to it and a strong contingent of Carbon Coalition members attending..

“Soil Carbon – the Hot Topic!” said Michael Robinson, Executive Director of Land & Water Australia. He revealed a stunning statistic that shows soil carbon has long been neglected and forgotten. Of the 404 projects his team identified as currently underway, only 9 are investigating soil carbon offsets opportunity. This is a direct result of the bad image imposed on soil carbon by the AGO’s misrepresentation of the science.

Michael Robinson has been placed in charge of the National Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) which brings under one authority all State and Territory and Federal Governments’ research and development activity. Soil carbon emerged as a ‘hot topic’ during the consultation process for CCRSPI.

Soil carbon has a bright future under CCRSPI for several reasons: 1. Its research strategy focuses on areas of common interest across industries. (Soil is shared by most agriculturalists.) 2.”Offset creation is essential” says one of its 6 areas of focus, “based on full understanding of life cycles and processes.”

Michael made a telling point about the conference participants: huge knowledge gaps and people making many false assumptions. We believe that this ignorance reaches up into all levels of Government.

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