28.07.2021

TSKB Economic Research Focuses on the theme of Soil in the 4th Issue Of “Climate Review”

TSKB Economic Research focused on the theme of “Soil” in its new issue of Climate Review which had reviewed the themes of “Water” and “Food Security” in its previous issues. In the fourth issue of “Climate Review”, which is published quarterly within the scope of the TSKB Green Swan Platform, the theme of soil is addressed in respect to agriculture, forestry, land usage and land restoration, biodiversity and the climate crisis. This study examines the role of soil in our lives and its importance within the scope of ecosystem with its different dimensions, while also setting out the warning alarmsto our country and the world, and what to can be done.

In the new issue of “Climate Review”, prepared by the TSKB Economic Research department and which covers subjects related to the climate agenda every three months within the scope of the TSKB Green Swan Platform, “Soil” theme is addressed. This study works from the starting point that soil is an integral part of agricultural production, biodiversity, ecological balance and the efforts to tackle climate change. While the report highlights that soil and the forests provide carbon absorption in the atmosphere with their carbon capturing capability, it also refers to the research activities conducted to strengthen this process and rehabilitate agricultural applications. The findings of the study emphasise that increasing the health of soil will contribute to its carbon capturing capacity and nutrition for agricultural products and protect the biodiversity, thus supporting efforts to protect the ecosystem.

“The future of agricultural production is hanging by a thread”

Global Evaluation set out in the Soil Pollution Report, published with the cooperation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), sounds a warning for the future of soil.It points out that increase in soil pollution and the amount of waste is endangering the future of global agricultural production. According to the statistics shared in the global report on soil pollution, the usage of pesticides increased by 75% between 2000 and 2017, reaching 109 million tonnes in 2018. It is also pointed out that the production of industrial chemicals has doubled since the beginning of the 21st century, reaching 2.3 billion tonnes. The report also cites an expectation for an 85% increase in use of industrial chemicals by 2030.

“Each year, the value of agricultural production can increase by USD 1.4 trillion”

The study referred to statements from the General Secretary of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who spoke on World Day of Combat Desertification and Drought, where he claimed that land degradation was harming biodiversity and causing the emergence of contagious diseases such as COVID-19. In some of his more striking statements, Guterres emphasized that the rehabilitation of damaged land would reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and help vulnerable groups adapt to climate change. Guterres underlined that land rehabilitation could pave the way for an additional USD 1.4 trillion worth of agricultural production each year.

“Land degradation is negatively affecting 3.2 billion people, or 40% of the world’s population”

According to the report, the rehabilitation of damaged land needs to be placed among the primary issues in tackling drought. Such efforts, which have emerged as a result of damaged lands causing desertification and drought, have been carried out to address the needs of reducing food insecurity in the world’s poorest countries and increasing nutrition. Almost 75% of the land not under ice has been altered by human activity in order to grow food and construct buildings and infrastructure. These changes are negatively affecting at least 3.2 billion people, or in other words, 40% of the world’s population. Planting projects represent the main focal point of land renovation globally. China’s Great Green Wall Project and Africa Great Green Wall Project remain at the forefront of land restoration projects worldwide. Both projects are aimed at increasing carbon storage and reducing the desertification area and drought with planting.

“Green Bond Issuances for Land Use”

According to data provided by the Climate Bond Initiative, the depth of the green bond for the land use market has increased. Only USD 3.8 billion of green bond issuances for land use had been made in total between 2014-2016. In the following 4 years, there was a noteworthy increase in green bond issuances for land. Even though the increase in total green bond issuances slowed in 2020, total green bond issuances for land use reached USD 14.4 billion, marking a 58.2% increase, with a 5% share in the total. Thus, total green bond issuances for land use since 2014 have reached USD 39.9 billion, with a 3.8% share of cumulative issuances.

“Carbon credit sale to Microsoft”

The Wilmot Cattle Company has achieved carbon savings from soil with the grazing management it has developed. The value of the company’s carbon credit share is reportedly more than USD 500,000. As one of the carbon balancing enterprises which Microsoft has announced recently within the scope of the CarbonPlus program, the carbon credits are verified by the US based Regen Network and they are subsequently sold.

“USD 7.9 million in funding for technology, which measures carbon content in the soil”

The Canada Sustainable Development Technology Program allocated USD 7.9 million in funding for the Terramera firm which can measure the carbon levels in agricultural soil with low-cost technology. Terramera aims to expand the use of carbon capturing activities in the agricultural fields by reducing the cost of carbon measurement in soil to USD 5 per decare through artificial intelligence and sensor technology.

“4.3 million hectares of soil to be surveyed in detail by 2023.”

According to the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan set out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, detailed surveys are planned to be conducted on a total of 4.3 million hectares of soil by 2023. In addition, the Ministry aims to carry out land usage planning of 2.7 million hectares of land by 2023. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is also planning to increase the number of application projects for afforestation, erosion control, flood, avalanche and landslides from 140 to 250 by 2023.

You can find the “Climate Review” report published by TSKB in the link below:

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