Innovate4Climate: Implementing Cost-effective Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Systems in Agriculture

Jacquelyn Turner (CCAFS/IRI)
Workshop at the 2021 Innovate4Climate Conference on soil organic carbon MRV.

Innovate4Climate (I4C), hosted by the World Bank Group, is an annual conference on climate finance, investment and markets. I4C links climate innovation with investment opportunities to shift the dialogue into action.

Moving towards zero GHG emissions by 2050 is a pre-condition for avoiding global warming higher than 1.5 ˚C by the end of the century. The land use and agriculture sector can provide close to one-third of this global commitment while ensuring food security, farmer resilience and sustainable development. Protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) and sequestering carbon in organic matter-depleted soils might cost-effectively provide close to 15% of this target and support another 15% from large-scale restoration and implementation of best agronomic practices.

Most of the major players across the agriculture value chain and food systems have recognized SOC’s potential and are setting up SOC sequestration-based targets to reduce corporate GHG emissions. However, incentives to farmers, consumer education for informed choices, and transparent, accurate, consistent and comparable methods for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of changes in SOC stocks are lagging behind and preventing large-scale SOC protection and sequestration from flying. The latter notably through new technologies and enabling standardized verification protocols at low transaction costs.

The development of cost-effective SOC MRV would therefore help to unlock a generation of carbon assets and implementation of best agronomic practices at scale. This is especially applicable to developing countries, where most of the SOC sequestration potential lies, but which are also marked by the limitation of data, technical capacity and infrastructure for implementing and running a robust SOC MRV.

By presenting and discussing SOC MRV protocols and lessons learned from existing carbon projects that view SOC as a climate benefit, this webinar will provide strategic recommendations to implementing cost-effective SOC MRV in agricultural projects.

The webinar features Dr. Rattan Lal, recipient of the 2020 World Food Prize and Director of Carbon Mgt. & Sequestration Center at Ohio State University (OSU), Deborah Bossio, Senior Soil Scientist at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and from the World Bank, William Sutton, Global Lead for Climate-Smart Agriculture, Agriculture & Food Global Practice and Julian Lampietti, Manager for Global Engagement in the Agriculture and Food Global Practice.

speaker headshots


Moderator: Ciniro Costa Jr., CCAFS

Welcome Remarks: William Sutton, Global Lead for Climate Smart Agriculture, Agriculture & Food Global Practice, World Bank

Keynote RemarksDr Rattan Lal, Director of Carbon Mgt. & Sequestration Center, Ohio State University (OSU), USA  

Panel Session

  • Burkina Faso Agricultural Carbon Project (BUFACAP) – Georges Kuate, Project Representative 

  • Northern Kenya Grasslands Project – Mark Ritchie, Project Representative 

  • Panel Remarks: Dr. Deborah Bossio - Lead Soil Scientist, The Nature Conservancy


Closing remarks – Julian Lampietti, Manager for Global Engagement in the Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank