Thought leadership

  • Date 05 December 2022
  • Words by Carl Atkin-House
  • Reading time 1 mins

World Soil Day

Drawing on his extensive experience from a career spent in the agriculture sector, mostly with his sleeves rolled up,
Carl Atkin-House, Senior Investment Manager at Climate Asset Management, offers some insights...

Carl Atkin-House

Today is World Soil Day.

Healthy soils are fundamental to humanity, producing 95% of the world’s food and storing about 2,500 gigatons of carbon.  That’s more than three times the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and four times the amount stored in all living plants and animals.

Healthy soils produce healthy crops that in turn nourish people and animals, with soil quality directly linked to food quality and quantity. A typically healthy soil may include a variety of earthworms, 20-30 types of small arachnids, 50-100 species of insects, hundreds of different fungi and thousands of bacteria species.  Healthy soils therefore support a huge range of biodiversity as well as being an important carbon store.

Soil degradation describes what happens when the quality of soil declines and diminishes its capacity to support life, with the soil losing certain physical, chemical or biological qualities.  While soil degradation is a natural process, it can also be caused by, and accelerated by, human activity.

In the last few decades, soil degradation has been exacerbated by intensive farming practices like deforestation, overgrazing, intensive cultivation, monocultures and burning.  These actions disturb soil and leave it vulnerable to erosion, which damages the complex systems underneath.

it can take up to a thousand years to produce just 2-3 cm of soil”

A third of soils globally are classed as degraded, and we need to start valuing our soils and restoring them to good health.

This is one of the central tenets of the regenerative agriculture movement – simply making agriculture ‘sustainable’ is no longer enough and we need to reverse the damage caused by historic agricultural practices and regenerate and improve soils.  Soil formation is a slow process: it can take up to a thousand years to produce just 2-3 cm of soil.  Therefore regenerating and improving our existing soils is critical if we are to meet our food, climate and environmental targets.

This is at the core of our agricultural philosophy at Climate Asset Management: healthy food from healthy soils with positive climate and biodiversity impacts at scale.


Related reading

Thought leadership
UNEP World Environment Day 5 June 2024

UNEP's World Environment Day (WED), celebrated this year on 5 June, encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment. In this blog, Carl Atkin-House shares his thoughts and insights with reference to the United Nations campaign, which this year focuses on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”

05 June 2024 Words by Carl Atkin-House
Thought leadership
World Peatlands Day 2 June 2024

On World Peatlands Day, Parisa Rahnama shares her insights and thoughts on how collaboration between public and private sectors is essential if we are to see an acceleration in peatland restoration, ensuring these ecosystems are protected and can thrive for generations to come.

02 June 2024 Words by Parisa Rahnama
Thought leadership
Martin Berg talks about Natural Capital

In this short video, recorded as part of the interactive workshop - Natural Capital Investment Series - presented by Uplink - World Economic Forum, Martin Berg talks about natural capital and how global corporations and financial institutions are increasingly addressing nature as part of their net zero pathways

07 May 2024 Words by Martin Berg
Press releases
Climate Asset Management signs agreements for the acquisition of 1,900 Ha of Iberian farmland

Climate Asset Management, a specialist Asset Management firm exclusively dedicated to natural capital, is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement to acquire c. 1,900 hectares of farmland in Spain and Portugal.

29 April 2024 Words by Climate Asset Management