HMI is pleased to announce that we have been listed in Healthy Soils to Cool the Planet-A Philanthropic Action Guide. This guide was developed to help focus the philanthropic and investment communities on the opportunities to invest in work being done to promote healthy soils and soil carbon sequestration (SCS) primarily through changes in agricultural practices in the United States and globally. Funders for this guide include #No Regrets Initiative, Grace Communications Foundation, Better World Fund, Regenerative Agriculture Foundation, Park Foundation, Jena & Michael King Foundation, the Seattle Foundation, Band Foundation, V Kann Rasmussen Foundation, One Earth, Tundra Glacier Fund, and Greg & Nancy Serrurier.
The UN has warned that we have only sixty more years of productive farming left if current levels of soil degradation continue at current rates. It is critical we use this remaining time to invest in regenerative agriculture as a key means to address key challenges such as:
Climate Change Mitigation
1.5 to 15.6 gigatons of CO2e removed annually by 2030 through agricultural emissions reductions, sustainable intensification of agriculture to halt deforestation, and soil carbon sequestration.
For each 1% increase in organic matter, U.S. cropland could store the equivalent of 150 days of water flowing over the Niagara Falls.
Healthy soils increase fertility, yields and the nutrient value of foods, boosting human health and food access globally.
Restoring soils reduces soil erosion and desertification.
Farmers improve yields and reduce the need for costly synthetic inputs when they build healthy soils.
Healthy soil policies and programs promote jobs and rural development.
Regenerative agriculture supports wildlife and pollinators.
Stabilization of Human Migration
Carbon-rich soils help secure water and food production necessary for life, helping reduce a common cause of migration.
Some of the key messages that this guide highlights are:
Changes in agricultural land management, combined with conservation and restoration of forests, wetlands and grasslands, can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed to stabilize global warming below 2°C degrees. Emerging evidence on compost, silvopasture, cover crops, storing soil carbon at depth, and perennial crops indicate even greater mitigation potential.
Levers for Change
Healthy Soils identifies seven levers for change. Healthy soil solutions available today have the potential to make a scalable impact on climate change, food security, water quality and conservation, biodiversity, resilience, and deforestation.
- Speed and Scale: Early strategic investments can leverage government and private sector funds to address climate mitigation as well as food security and adaptation in the face of climate impacts.
- Demonstrate Early Success: There are opportunities to invest in states and regions where momentum for change is high. Demonstrating the success of policies and practices on soil carbon, water conservation, soil fertility, job creation, and habitat protection will encourage other donors and investors.
- Farmers and Ranchers: Policies and financing must be producer focused and address the daily realities that producers face.
- Action Matters: Action-oriented research programs must be tied closely with farmers on the ground.Ambition: We must make the impossible possible
HEALTHY SOILS INVESTMENT PRINCIPLES
- Put farmers and ranchers first.
- Take a whole systems perspective, address root causes of problems, and advance all co-benefits of building healthy soils.
- Place the work in the larger context of healthy communities, sustainable development, food and fiber supply chains, water filtration and conservation, and the need for food security.
- Avoid unintended consequences.
- Embrace grantmaking approaches commensurate with the magnitude of the challenges we face.
- Demonstrate and communicate success.
Learn more about how Holistic Management is part of the Regenerative Solution of soil health.
To learn more about how Holistic Management practitioners are improving their soil health and wildlife habitat, visit our Soil and Conservation page. Visit our Donate Now page to begin creating healthy soil.