Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung was invited by the Consortium of the “4 Per 1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate”, as one of the founding members to participate in the 5th Partners Forum via video conference, on December 9 at 7:00 in the evening., which was held in conjunction with the conference of the parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At the meeting Minister Chen explained Taiwan’s efforts and achievements with respect to preserving soil health and coping with climate change, and displayed Taiwan’s determination to work with other countries to collectively promote sustainable agricultural development.
This year’s “4 Per 1000 Initiative Day” - Partners of Forum was chaired by Mr. Ibrahim Mayaki, president of the “4 per 1000” Initiative, Executive Secretary of NEPAD and former Prime Minister of Niger. Opening remarks were delivered by the Minister of Agriculture and Food of France, the Parliamentary State Secretary for Agriculture and Food of Germany, and the Director-General of Agricultural Production and Markets of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food of Spain. Moreover, high-level representatives of government, industry, and academia from various countries were invited to deliver remarks on the theme of promoting the work of soil health and soil carbon sequestration around the world. The Minister of the COA was invited to attend for the first time. Via video conference, Minister Chen Chi-chung, along with a number of other VIP speakers including the ministers of agriculture of Portugal, Tunisia, and New Zealand, as well as the First Vice-Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament, all spoke about the accomplishments of their respective countries and called on everyone around the globe to unite to protect soil health and mitigate climate change.
Minister Chen explained that Taiwan is located in the sub-tropics, and it is difficult to achieve the goal of increasing carbon sequestration by 4/1000 per year, but Taiwan is still pro-actively promoting relevant measures, including green manure, organic farming, biochar, orchard grass cultivation and flatland afforestation. In the future the COA will strengthen management of the supply and application of biochar and encourage organic agricultural production. At the same time Taiwan will share experiences and technology related to carbon sequestration with other countries, to achieve the goal of regional sustainable agricultural development.
The COA points out that the “4 Per 1000 Initiative,” launched by France, formed the Consortium in 2016, with the COA’s Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute as one of the founding members. At present there are 254 members and 550 Forum partners who have signed the “Paris Declaration.” Research conducted under the Initiative proved that carbon sequestration by agricultural soil plays a critical role in mitigating climate change, and soil restoration has a visible impact on production, ecology, and livelihoods. In 2019, the Consortium announced the beginning of the phase of practical action, and urged all countries to accelerate R&D and use scientific methods to test the soil organic carbon pool sequestration method, working together to respond to the impact of climate change on agricultural production and the natural environment.
At the end of the meeting, Consortium President Ibrahim Mayaki stated that the implementation strategies of the 4 Per 1000 Initiative are maturing, and are encouraging positive change in the world. He thanked all participating countries for their promises of action, and called on decision-makers to incorporate carbon sequestering agricultural methods into their national strategies and to pro-actively promote these methods.