Summary: The quantity of carbon contained in soils is directly related to the diversity and health of soil life. All organic carbon sequestered in soils is extracted from the atmosphere by photosynthesis and converted to complex molecules by bacteria and fungi in synergy with insects and animals. An effective, profitable, and culturally relevant method for increasing soil organic carbon is by restoring grasslands worldwide to their optimal health. To accomplish this at the scale and pace that we need, Holistic ManagementTM and one of its associated processes, Holistic Planned GrazingTM offers us a tangible way to restore our climate by properly managing livestock to build soil life. Since the 1970s Holistic Management’s effectiveness has been well documented on millions of hectares on four continents. By restoring grasslands through Holistic Planned Grazing we have the potential to remove excess atmospheric carbon resulting from both anthropogenic soil loss over the past 10,000 years and industrial-era greenhouse gas emissions. This sequestration potential, when applied to up to 5 billion hectares of degraded grassland soils, could return 10 or more gigatons of excess atmospheric carbon to the terrestrial sink annually thereby lowering greenhouse gas concentrations to pre-industrial levels in a matter of decades. This while restoring agriculture productivity, providing jobs for thousands of people in rural communities, supplying high quality protein for millions, and enhancing wildlife habitat and water resources.
Leading up to COP27 in Egypt, and as members of the Global Evergreening Alliance, the Savory Institute contributed towards the development of a document aimed at educating and encouraging