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NS-273 - Removal of atmospheric carbon through recuperation of degraded Chilean agricultural soils


NAMA Seeking Support for Preparation

  • A Overview
    • A.1Party
      A.2Title of Mitigation Action

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      A.3Description of mitigation action

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      With the expansion of agriculture, the world´s soils have released a significant portion of the indigenous soil organic carbon (SOC) as CO2 into the atmosphere. This is mainly due to soil disturbance – ploughing, for example – and the removal of plant residues, causing the net oxidation of relevant fractions of the SOC, especially of those fractions related to fresh residues and less stabilized compounds. Today, it is well known that the process can not only be stopped but also reversed, if conservationist practices of soil management (for example, recycling of organic residues, non-disruptive tillage, measures against erosion, integrated production systems) are systematically applied as a permanent strategy. Thus soils can be used to remove atmospheric carbon and capture it permanently in the form of SOC, provided that the non-conservative practices which caused the loss of SOC are not resumed. A set of such soil management techniques can be proposed  as a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) if a national public entity takes charge of its administration (a Ministry, for example), providing incentives for farmers who adopt the proposed practices and who submit to monitoring and verification. The use of a web-based computer tool based on the soil carbon/nutrient-cycling model Century/DayCent is essential to planning and implementation of the proposed NAMA, because it permits the projection of effects in specific fields under particular practices. Its use can be largely automated through connection with geospatial databases of historic land use, climate and soil type.


      A.6Type of action

      A.7Greenhouse gases covered by the action

  • B National Implementing Entity
    • B.1.0Name
      B.1.1Contact Person 1
      B.1.5Contact Person 2
      B.1.9Contact Person 3

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  • C Expected timeframe for the preparation of the mitigation action
    • C.1Number of months for completion
  • D Currency
    • D.1Used Currency
      Conversion to USD: 1
  • E Cost
    • E.1.1Estimated full cost of preparation
      Conversion to USD: 450,000
      E.1.2Comments on full cost of preparation

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      The cost considers technical and capacity building support, with details of the two found below. The cost does not include the time of personnel already employed by dependencies of the Ministry of Agriculture, such as the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), and the prospective time of Chilean academics.
  • F Support required to prepare the mitigation action
    • F.1.1Amount of Financial support
      Conversion to USD: 450,000
      F.1.2Type of required Financial support

      F.1.3Comments on Financial support

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      The full monetary cost of preparation is sought, excluding time of existing personnel involved in investigation.
      F.2.1Amount of Technical support
      Conversion to USD: 350,000
      F.2.2Comments on Technical support

      This field is limited by 5000 characters.

      Initial work on the NAMA has been carried out in a three-year project funded within Chile, focused on description of carbon changes under certain subsidized practices. Moving forward, a number of pilot sites established in recent years must be maintained with the practices in order to validate and quantify expected soil carbon gains, including their rates of change over time.
      Further pilot studies and analysis of particular system-soil interactions is needed. So is support to develop specific crop-growth parameters for modelling, reflecting common Chilean varieties and their yields in Chilean conditions.
      The studies could be accelerated in some cases by using carbon isotope labelling, followed by analysis a few years later, together with measures of carbon fractionation.
      Meanwhile, spatial databases should be improved, e.g. those of historical land use and interpolations of climate data, in order to run the Century/DayCent models throughout the relevant agricultural territories of Chile.
      This improvement will allow participation in the international soil carbon calculator ¨COMETE Mondial¨, an expansion of the U.S.-based ¨Comet Farm¨, which has been operational for several years. At the present time 12 countries are working to expand the tool to their own territories. If the effort is to include calibration of this tool for N cycling, including nitrate leaching and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, further support will be needed.
      F.3.1Amount of capacity building support
      Conversion to USD: 100,000
      F.3.2Type of required capacity building support

      F.3.3Comments on Capacity Building support

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      In the short term, a potential for capacity building could be realized through consultation with international experts over the next steps in carbon sequestration research in Chile, in order to meet the needs of this NAMA. 
      Funding for meetings and training with the designers of the Century/DayCent models is an important mid-term need, since knowledge of the calibration of these models is lacking within the implementing institutions (the Ministry of Agriculture and the Institute of Crop and Livestock Research). This will allow integration with the COMETE Mondial soil carbon/nitrogen calculator, which is being led by the same team (based at Colorado State University in the United States).
      In the implementation phase, training in the promoted practices and their scientific background will be needed for operators and consultants of the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) and the Agricultural Development Institute (INDAP). In addition, computational training will be necessary for maintenance of the tool and to develop a general understanding of its capabilities, in the administrations of SAG, INDAP, and the Oficina de Estudios y Políticas Agrarias (ODEPA) of the Ministry of Agriculture.
      Lastly, outreach to farmers will include messaging through established media, which has an implicit cost.
  • G Relevant National Policies strategies, plans and programmes and/or other mitigation action
    • G.1Relevant National Policies

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      The Incentive System for Agroenvironmental Sustainability of Crop and Livestock Soils (administered in two different forms by SAG and INDAP), which together constitute a subsidy system commonly known as SIRSD-S, in effect since 1999. Described in detail in the attached technical discussion.
      Forestry NAMA, under development, seeking financing.
      G.2Link to other NAMAs
  • H Attachments
  • I Support received
    • I.1Outside the Registry

      This field is limited by 5000 characters.

      US$280,000 from the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture through its affiliates SAG and INIA, and from the national research fund CORFO (Innova).
      CAN$135,000 from Environment-Canada, 2012-2013 (approx. US$135,000 at the time).
      I.2Within the Registry
      Support providedSupportTypeAmountCommentDate
      No records to display.