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Cooling our Climate, Rehydrating our Land

NGOs and national governments are realising that soil offers solutions to the significant global problems that we face: climate change, water scarcity and food insecurity. Healthy Soils Australia is at the forefront of innovative thinking about how to apply our understanding of how soil works to: promote hydrological cooling, draw down atmospheric CO2, and enhance agricultural productivity. Our esteemed Soil Microbiologist, Walter Jehne, has written extensively on these topics.

Drawing down atmospheric carbon is the basis behind a major work: Regenerate Australia. Regenerate Australia and Restoring Regional Rainfalls were presented internationally at our session at Global Soil Week in Berlin in 2015. An earlier version of Regenerate Australia was published by Future Directions International. This work was based on case study analysis of best practice innovative farmers completed in conjunction with Soils for Life.

Cooling our climate is a complete scientific description of how hydrological processes can be restored. This paper was presented in a series of 20 university and industry fora in 2015, beginning at theRestoring Water Cycles to Reverse Global Warming Conferenceat Tufts, then continuing on to MIT, Columbus, Dayton and Oberlin universities before ending at Harvard. For practical understanding of an urban context pilot region, read an introduction to a project, a summary of work to date and a draft business plan prepared for the Canberra leg of Climathon 2015.

On the basis of this work, HSA was invited to collaborate with Regeneration International as part of the Farmer's Constituency Advocacy Bloc at the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris. HSA became one of the 50 founding partners to the 4p1000 - a global initiative to increase soil carbon by 0.4% so as to combat food and water insecurity, and climate change.
Other papers written over the past decade that punctuate our journey of advocacy in explaining how to restore climates and rainfalls include:

- Cooling our Climate a business proposal invited by Richard Branson's Virgin Earth Challenge

and the following papers published in the Nature and Society Forum Journal:

Research Areas Of Interest To HSA Members

  • Soil Health And Nutritional Quality
  • Composting Technologies
  • Soil Conditioners
  • Restoring And Managing Native Grasses And Native Vegetation Generally
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Soil Testing
  • Indicators Of Microbial Activity (Bio-Assay Techniques)
  • Soil Water Holding Capacity
Although ultimately worthwhile and needed, research is time-consuming, complex and beset with shifting parameters, egos, and commercial and political vested interests. HSA aims to cut across this frustrating mix by promoting what is working now in a practical sense on farms, without having to wait to dissect it into a set of statistics that are meaningful in one context but useless in another. Results based action is needed now by the planet and its inhabitants.
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