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Carbon farming practices: restore the capacity of agroecosystems to act as CO2 sinks

Identifying, selecting and quantifying sustainable agricultural management options for the main representative agroecosystems of Lombardy Region that may contribute to GHG-e mitigation targets by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and stocking it into the largest ecosystems carbon pools: soil and plant biomass. This is one of the main objectives of the Carbon Farming Certification System LIFE Project (C-FARMs).

Carbon farming can benefit from agroecological and agroforestry principles and practices which provide several ecosystem services such as boosting soil chemical, biological and physical fertility while producing food for humanity and contributing to mitigate climate change.             

This specific project action, coordinated by the CMCC Foundation with the support of Confagricoltura, Crea, Rete Clima, Università della Tuscia and PEFC Italia, builds upon literature research which aims to identify the most effective agricultural practices for European pedo-climatic conditions capable to increase soil and biomass carbon stocks compared to business-as-usual. These comprise introducing sustainable practices (e.g., green manuring, cover crops, perennial woody plant species), shifting agricultural management (e.g., from conventional to organic or conservative) or land-use-changes (e.g., from cropland to orchards, pastures or meadows).   

In particular, a specific focus will be made on the study of effects on organic carbon in mineral soils as well as in woody biomass in orchards. However, focusing on CO2 fluxes at soil level only, may produce trade-offs between other GHGs such as methane and nitrous oxide. For this reason, the project aims to implement C-farming practices capable of producing a  net reduction in GHG emission at soil or farm level.

The project partners have designed activity in order to provide the basic information on the carbon sequestration potential for different Carbon farming practices related to soil type, climate and land use homogeneous conditions.



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