Live Coverage of the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon #GSOC17

Dr. Tom Goreau, of RTE’s Board of Directors, attended the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC17) in Rome from March 21 – 23. He presented a conference paper based on the book Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration and Reversing CO2 Increase. Dr. Rattan Lal, who wrote the preface to the book, is a keynote speaker at the Symposium. 


At #FAO soil, carbon and climate symposium in Rome. With Andre Leu of IFOAM – Organics International, Regeneration International, and Advisory Board member, Soil4Climate; Thomas Goreau, Editor, “Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase,” and Advisory Board member, Soil4Climate; and Benoit Lambert, Founder SOLS VIVANTS QUÉBEC – associé Soil4Climate et Regeneration International.

Soil took center stage at The Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC17), hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Nearly 500 participants met in Rome from March 21 to 23 to discuss how soil can help us meet the challenges of climate change. Each day, distinguished speakers presented research about soil’s potential and considered proposals about how to realize that potential.

Dr. Tom Goreau brought his vision to the Symposium with his conference poster “Regenerative development to reverse climate change: Quantity and quality of soil carbon sequestration control rates of CO2 and climate stabilization at safe levels.” Dr. Goreau has long been a pioneering advocate at United Nations climate treaty negotiations, championing the recognition of soils as a major carbon sink. Goreau is passionate about soils as the primary way to address global warming at this late date, given that reducing emissions alone cannot prevent dangerous climate change unless natural carbon sinks are significantly increased.

Dr. Goreau discussing his conference poster with Dr. Lal and a symposium participant. Photo from Soil4Climate.

Other participants highlighted other aspects of soils. In addition to acting as a carbon sink, healthy soils can support plants that decrease greenhouse gases. Improved soils can alleviate world hunger and malnutrition—healthy soils make healthier food. The symposium focused on Sustainable Soil Management techniques to take advantage of the benefits that soil has to offer. It is encouraging that soil is taking on such a prominent role in plans for dealing with climate change and other world problems.

Thanks to Seth Itzkan of Soil4Climate for sharing two videos with us from the Symposium. The first is an interview with Dr. Goreau (A more recent video has been added). The second is an interview with Dr. Lal and Dr. Tom Crowther, who were keynote speakers at the Symposium. The video was produced by Regeneration International.

For more coverage check the hashtag #GSOC17 on Facebook and other social media.


Benjamin T. Rancourt received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016. His continuing philosophical research focuses on understanding, knowledge, and science, among other topics. This research ties into his wider goal of encouraging deeper understanding of ourselves, our strengths, and our limitations. He hopes that greater understanding will help us use the resources available to us to preserve what is good and address what is wrong. Walking is his primary mode of transportation. He appreciates the natural world. He lives with his wife Julia in North Carolina, where he is a Teaching Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University.

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1 Reply to "Live Coverage of the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon #GSOC17"

  • Claire Dgaia
    March 25, 2017 (4:07 am)

    Please support the work of Dan Kittredge, He has trained 2,000 farmers in 25 states how to improve soils to help stabilize effects of climate change. Thanks!

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