Start year
End year

Background: The awareness that agricultural soils have potential to sequester carbon, has resulted in various initiatives to sequester organic carbon in agricultural lands. Yet, there is ongoing dialogue on the potential for sequestration in agricultural lands and a need for sharing knowledge and experiences how to make this happen.  

Objectives: The EU H2020 CIRCASA project aims to address this knowledge gap. The overall objective of CIRCASA is to strengthen synergies among researchers and promote the transfer of knowledge on carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. This will be achieved through four complementary activities. The first aims at the strengthening of the international research community on soil carbon sequestration in relation to food security and climate change. The second aims at improving our understanding of agricultural soil carbon sequestration and its potential for climate change mitigation and food security. The third activity will engage with stakeholders to co-design a strategic research agenda on soil carbon sequestration in agriculture. The fourth activity aims to better structure the research cooperation in this field.

Through these activities CIRCASA will produce outcomes to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of the Paris agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). CIRCASA will achieve these goals while benefiting from several international initiatives: The Global Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gasses (GRA), the Joint Programming Initiative on Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) and the 4 per 1000 Soils for Food Security and Climate Initiative (4p1000). Further, CIRCASA will benefit from the CGIAR research programmes on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Water, Lands and Ecosystems (WLE).

Activities: ISRIC - World Soil Information is one of the partners in CIRCASA. ISRIC will lead the development of a Knowledge Information System (KIS) that will host knowledge on carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. This KIS will include meta data and data from experiments, as well as models and methodological guidelines developed by CIRCASA. ISRIC will also take part in the development of an On-line Collaborative Platform (OCP), a networking tool aiming at bringing together researchers, stakeholders and practitioners in the field. Through these activities ISRIC will support the improved exchange and accessibility of information on carbon sequestration in agricultural soils.

During the project, several objectives have been revised in consulation with the project lead with additional attention for soil C modelling.

Results: So far, ISRIC has delivered a technical report that specifies the requirements of the Knowledge Information System. Following approval by the consortium partners this report has been submitted to the European Commission (PDF). Subsequently, to facilitate selection of the best suited knowledge information platform ISRIC reviewed possible information platforms for CIRCASA’s Knowledge Information System (PDF). This review led to the decision to use Dataverse as the information platform for CIRCASA’s Knowledge Information System. This Dataverse will be implemented and managed by INRA, which also develops the OCP.

During the First Annual CIRCASA Meeting (CIAT, Cali; 4th - 8th Feb. 2019) project partners agreed with a shift of attention in ISRIC's work (more in line with SoilGrids and TNC project).


French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) (INRA), France

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia

Ecologic Institute, Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (MPG), Germany

Aarhus University (AU), Denmark

Agricultural Research Centre for Development (CIRAD), France

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria

Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), France

Laboratoire des RadioIsotopes, Madagascar

Wageningen University & Research Wageningen Economic Research, Netherlands

ISRIC - World Soil Information, The Netherlands

University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Agricultural Research Council (ARC), South Africa

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Brazil

Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China

AgReasearch, New Zealand

Ministry For Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand

M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), Russian Federation

Colorado State University System (CSU System), United States



This project receives funding from the European Union's EU H2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the grant agreement n° 774378.

European Commission 2020