27 Mar 2017

Scientist says carbon rich soil could make Pacific more resilient

3:08 pm on 27 March 2017

A Pacific scientist says boosting the carbon content in soil is crucial to helping small island states become more resilient to climate change.

Celebrating Soils, discovering soils and landscapes

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That comes after the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation's global symposium in Italy this week that focused on the potential of organic carbon soil.

The UN has warned that soil has become one of the most vulnerable resources in the world, in the wake of a changing climate, land degradation, and biodiversity loss.

The Pacific Community's soil expert, Siosiua Halavatau, said if more carbon was stored in soil as organic carbon, it would reduce the amount present in the atmosphere, and help reduce global warming.

"In relation to the Pacific Islands, I think improving the organic matter of the soil, if we use it as part of the national commitments of each country to mitigating climate change, I think we will go a long way to achieving this," he said.

Mr Halavatau hopes the important role of organic carbon soil would be a focus of COP 23, the UN's major climate change meeting, which Fiji is organising this year.