THE MINISTER of Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue announced funding of more than 2.7 million euros for the expansion of the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory (NASCO).
its investment will facilitate the purchase of additional greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring equipment to increase the range and type of soils and land uses monitored by the Observatory.
Minister McConalogue said: “This investment of more than 2.7 million euros to expand the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory reaffirms my commitment to provide the research and data necessary to support the development of a model of agricultural soils. carbon agriculture that targets and rewards actions that remove carbon and store it in our soils. Our strategic investment in this technology will benefit Irish agriculture and society as a whole through a better understanding of our GHG emissions and highlighting the pathways through which we can achieve meaningful emission reductions.
“Carbon cultivation is an area that will become a crucial part of the future of agriculture in this country. This will be an opportunity for our farmers to derive a new source of income for their farm. To reward our farmers for the actions they take to remove and store carbon in our soils, forests, grasslands, croplands and hedges, a well-functioning carbon agriculture framework that offers trust, verification and certification is essential.
“I recently set up a working group, chaired by officials from my ministry with expertise from across government, to look at the key elements of a framework for activating carbon agriculture. Key areas that this group will focus on, among others, include identifying existing knowledge relevant to establishing baseline data, making recommendations on ways forward to address knowledge gaps, assessing future audit requirements, the development of voluntary carbon codes, the examination of the possibility of leveraging private finance through public-private partnerships and the identification of best practice governance structures ”, said Minister McConalogue.
Teagasc, on behalf of the ministry, has started intensive monitoring of carbon emissions and removals in a range of Irish soils.
Dr Karl Richards, head of the environment, soil and land use research department at Teagasc, said: will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put Ireland at the forefront of EU research on carbon sequestration. “