American Farmland Trust zeroes in on climate benefits of ag land
July 9, 2018
WASHINGTON — Today, American Farmland Trust joins other major agriculture and conservation organizations at a "Learning Lab" for the U.S. Climate Alliance Natural and Working Lands Initiative. A team of over 50 technical experts from government, academia and industry will provide technical assistance to state governments on how to draw down carbon from the air and sequester it in the soil across diverse systems such as farms, rangelands, forests and wetlands. The lab also will help states develop strategies related to policy development and funding projects.
American Farmland Trust is working in partnership with Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (C-AGG), American Forests, the Forest-Climate Working Group, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, and The Trust for Public Land to support the Natural and Working Lands Initiative.
Governors from the U.S. Climate Alliance member states will be attending the Global Climate Action Summit in September, when thousands of global leaders will convene in San Francisco to strategize about accelerating and scaling up emissions reductions. The U.S. Climate Alliance will provide an update on 2018 initiatives, including the Natural and Working Lands Initiative, at the summit.
"Only by sequestering carbon on natural and working ag lands can we achieve the goal of drawing down the carbon needed to help reverse climate change," said Jimmy Daukas, AFT senior program officer. "But we are losing three acres of farmland in the United States every minute. It is critical that we protect the best land for food production – and that we improve the health of our soil nationwide so that it sequesters more carbon. AFT has developed proven strategies for achieving both goals."
AFT launched its climate initiative, "Farmers Combating Climate Change," in 2017. The goals of the program are to:
• Protect farmland and promote smart growth to significantly reduce emissions
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• Improve soil health to reverse climate change and improve productivity
• Build support among the farm community and advance policies
"The loss of agricultural capacity – in acres of land and inches of soil – is unsustainable and will contribute to the devasting impacts of climate change," Daukas said. "The U.S. Climate Alliance Natural and Working Lands Initiative is an important and urgently needed effort in the march to stem this loss."