Keywords: climate change, carbon biosequestration, land degradation, water degradation, environmental degradation, water regeneration, land regeneration, agricultural soil, Australia, natural sequence farming, composting, waste recycling, organic waste
A case study in land and water regeneration to reduce the impact of climate change by soil bio-sequestration of atmospheric carbon
The whole of landscape regenerative processes are being studied to determine their effect upon carbon bio-sequestration in agricultural soils. The Mulwaree Ponds drainage system, south of Sydney, shows the effects of overgrazing by fine wool sheep over the past 160 years and the resultant loss of perennial groundcover causing nutrient leaching into Sydney's drinking water catchment. Natural Sequence Farming methods, in combination with the strategic application of composted, recycled, organic waste, will be trialled to measure: a) the increase in stable soil carbon content; b) the improvement in water infiltration and retention in agricultural soils; c) the increase in biodiversity and suppression of undesirable vegetation; d) the sustainability and profitability of low input farming practices. Land owned and managed by conventional farmers will be subjected to this innovative agricultural regime in the belief that former 'doubters' make the best 'believers'. This paper details the methodology involved in the demonstration site which will assist in arguments linking increased soil carbon levels to mitigation of the effects of climate change.