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Tools for Soil Organic Carbon Estimation and Management Science-Policy Brief

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SPI publication
Tools for Soil Organic Carbon

Land degradation neutrality (LDN) is achieved if land degradation is avoided or reduced, and new degradation is balanced by reversing degradation elsewhere in the same land type through restoration or rehabilitation. The primary instrument for avoiding and reducing degradation is the application of sustainable land management (SLM) approaches and technologies. Because of its multifunctional roles and its sensitivity to land management, soil organic carbon (SOC) is one of the three global indicators for LDN, so predicting and monitoring change in SOC is vital to achieving LDN targets.

Predicting the potential change in SOC stock due to changes in land management is also a challenge. Accurate evaluation of SOC stock change resulting from SLM interventions is often limited by the availability of data and the performance of tools/models for SOC assessment. Therefore, targeted investment in SOC estimation is vital.