4 per 1000 Initiative: New French Minister for Agriculture

With Emmanuel Macron’s election, recent political events in France have led to many changes in ministries. The new minister for agriculture as of 21 June 2017 is Stéphane Travert, replacement for Jacques Mézard whom had been nominated just a few weeks before to replace Stéphane Le Foll. The latter had acquired international visibility with the 4per1000 initiative itself. The International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) had even shown recognition of his merits by awarding a medal. Thanks to his personal commitment, we must add that the notion of carbon accumulation in soil as an element guaranteeing food security and an answer to climate-related challenges has once again been set on the international agenda.

It is still too early to tell what direction the new French minister will take. In theory, the new political climate should not affect the 4 per 1000 Initiative too much, as it is already structured and consolidated. Perhaps at the next meeting in Bonn we will be able to understand if the current Minister will keep on with the initiative in an equally passionate manner. His physical presence would confirm that the French government is still marching along the same indicated path.

4 per 1000 Initiative: Survey on expectations, motivations and projects

Constructive dialogue with hundreds of partners is always highly difficult to achieve.

In order to get to know its partners and adapt the initiative to participants’ expectations, the Executive Secretary decided to carry out a survey based on the Scientific and Technical Committee. This questionnaire is to be filled out online, and will be available until 15 June, and the survey until the end of August.

The results of the survey will be analysed in June, but the full summary will be presented at the 4×1000 meeting in Bonn in November (in parallel to COP23). Continue reading “4 per 1000 Initiative: Survey on expectations, motivations and projects”

4 per 1000 Initiative, 2017 activities

2017 is a year of intense structuring for the Initiative.

The Scientific and Technical Committee that was appointed at the Marrakech meeting will gather to prepare the evaluation criteria for the projects, and details on the international programme on research and scientific co-operation.

Also this year, the website will be launched: it will include a collaborative platform and a numerical centre, as required by the roadmap adopted by the Consortium. The latter envisages two meetings over the year.

Finally the next Initiative Forum meeting will take place in Bonn during COP 23 (from 6 to 17 November 2017).


As SIP Forum – seeing the lack of reaction from the Ministers of Agriculture and Environment – we would like to establish contact mechanisms on the 4per1000 Initiative with various associations, such as that of the farmers, of agricultural experts, and of agronomists. This mandate is given to the Soil Europe Group of the SIP Forum.


The 4per1000 initiatives has its own email address: forum.4p1000@adecia.org

4 per 1000 Initiative: Conclusions of the Marrakesh meeting and its workshops

The report on the last November meeting has been finalized and sent to all partners. Aside from a summary of the plenary debate, it contains recommendations from the four different themed workshops, of which we here show you the conclusions.

Here the entire original report in English for your reading (a French version is available upon request).

Workshop no. 1: Contribution to NDC (National Declared Contributions) definition and implementation

The desire is for a robust system providing a range of benefits, which would represent substantial value-added. Creation of a “4 per 1000” hub is strongly recommended to support the Initiative, based in research and focused on action.  Continue reading “4 per 1000 Initiative: Conclusions of the Marrakesh meeting and its workshops”

Iniziativa 4 per 1000: Conclusioni del Meeting di Marrakech e dei suoi Atelier

Il rapporto del meeting del novembre scorso è stato finalizzato e inviato a tutti i partner. Oltre la sintesi del dibattito in plenaria, contiene le raccomandazioni emerse dai 4 atelier tematici, di cui riportiamo le conclusioni.

Invitiamo alla lettura dell’intero rapporto originale in inglese qui allegato (versione francese disponibile su richiesta).

1° Atelier: Contribuzione all’elaborazione e alla messa in opera dei NDC (National Declared Contributions = Contribuzioni Nazionali Dichiarate)

Un sistema solido capace di fornire diversi benefici è atteso e sarebbe di grande valore aggiunto. Un centro di raccordo “4 per 1000” è altamente raccomandato per sostenere questa iniziativa basata sulla ricerca e orientata verso l’azione.

 2° Atelier: Aspettative nei confronti del sistema di riferimento della valutazione dei progetti Continue reading “Iniziativa 4 per 1000: Conclusioni del Meeting di Marrakech e dei suoi Atelier”

Video to understand the 4×1000 Initiative

In a simple and didactic manner, the 3’30” video explains the problem of organic matter formation and accumulation in soil and its importance for climate change. It also summarizes practices which lead to a yearly 0.4% increase (hence 4 per 1000) of carbon within soil, and – even more important – the length of time it can stay as such.

The video is now available in French and in English.

4 per 1000 initiative: Indicators on organic and biological state of soil

The aim of the 4 per 1000 Initiative is to share experiences involving land, research work, agricultural practices and policies aimed at increasing soil-related awareness and their potential in carbon accumulation.

To improve soil quality and evaluate the changes in agricultural practices, it is necessary to have comparative data on the state of soil. These are so called “indicators” and they are the results of observation, analysis, studying and modelling. The indicators are important for farmers and other stakeholders in terms of selecting the right management in a context which tends to improve the organic and biological state of soil.

Within the 4 per 1000 Initiative framework, the French Ministry of Agriculture gathered a panel of experts to produce a short document entitled “Indicators on organic and biological state of soil”. The idea was to produce a “living” document which – beginning from a description of existing indicators – would need regular updates following contributions, critiques and suggestions from various users. The document must therefore be used, verified and amended, by staying in touch with the network which produced it and that refers to the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Initiative. The aim here is to obtain a short document which can be used by various stakeholders, including politicians which often ask for comparative data on soil.

Each indicator is described by explaining what exactly has been measured, who uses it and why. It also clarifies how measurements and estimates are made, the stage of the analytical method and its results, the degree of certainty of the results, and finally the advantages and disadvantages.

The qualitative and quantitative indicators of organic matter are mainly about the amount of carbon and nitrogen present. Indicators on the biological state emphasize the presence of microbiological factors (soil “breathing”, microbial biomass, enzyme activity…) and wildlife factors (earthworm, nematodes, micro-arthropods).

The first version of the document is already available (in French) and can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry, however a new version is expected to be published soon. For this purpose, we ask those interested to send their comments in by 15 March 2017 to the following address: indicateurs_sols.dgpe@agriculture.gouv.fr.

For the moment, this document is for soil experts only. Despite the complexity of the indicators described, the use of this document can gradually become more “simple” especially if we were to install a dialogue and a privileged communication channel between those following the indicator updates and development, and those physically working on land.

4 per 1000 initiative: Work programme and 2017 budget

The 4per1000 Initiative has kicked off. If 2016 was to prepare it, 2017 must start to put ideas and aims into practice. Its work programme has been finalised and the budget approved. All we can do is draw up our sleeves and get to work, particularly to ease the way for projects via an efficient network to put project executives with potential financiers.

Therefore the Executive Secretariat has following tasks: plan meetings; facilitate cooperation between organizers and initiatives (projects and research) aimed at carbon capture; develop a designated website; activate a specific communication programme.

All the above cannot be free of charge: the expected budget for 2017 is a total of € 835.000 and must be provided by members of the Consortium. France, promoter of the Initiative, has already provided € 100.000.

For details see HERE