The SCOPE Rapid Assessment Project on Benefits of Soil Carbon (BSC) was a major international effort to transfer complex science evidence into new policy approaches and into new land management practices. Conserving and improving carbon in soil organic matter through land management offers enormous potential to simultaneously address the major global challenges of rapid climate change, degradation of soil and water quality and urgent and growing demand for food. Many of the benefits of soil carbon arising from multiple ecosystem services are not recognised or are external to the existing markets.
As a first step, international experts were invited to prepare background chapters summarising the state of knowledge within their disciplines. Subsequently, an international workshop, hosted by the European Commission - Joint Research Centre (Ispra, Italy), convened some 40 experts for 5 days to prepare cross-cutting chapters. Building on the background chapters, synthesis papers were written to point out knowledge gaps, research needs, and propose new solutions.
The chapters have been published as SCOPE Science volume 71. Further outputs included policy briefs to flag the main conclusions, recommendations and to guide implementation, and a paper published in Carbon Management.