The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has chosen Costa Rica as the first country in the world to implement a field test of the Soil Recarbonization Program (RECSOIL) to tackle climate change.
The initiative is being carried out in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), and the Dos Pinos, R.L. Milk Producers’ Cooperative to support the livestock sector by increasing soil organic carbon stocks.
RECSOIL aims to increase soil organic carbon stocks, support sustainable soil management (SLM), and provide multiple benefits through key ecosystem services, including improving food security, agricultural production, and the income and profitability of producing farms. Healthy soils also provide essential ecosystem services that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals to combat climate change and strengthen the resilience of soils to extreme weather events and pandemics.
The initiative will be tested on selected farms in the livestock and coffee sectors of Costa Rica and involves farms participating voluntarily in the program for four years with annual evaluations.
These evaluations include implementing Sustainable Soil Management measures, such as rational grazing, improving pastures, using live fences, applying appropriate nutritional management plans, and planting shade trees, forest trees, and leguminous plants that provide leaves for grazing and protect water sources on the farm.
The selected farms will benefit from technical teams from all participating organizations, which will be available to advise and support producers in their efforts to improve fertility, farm productive capacity, biodiversity, food security, and income.
The program also involves incorporating advanced technologies to measure soil carbon and develop sustainable business models for the production of meat, milk, and coffee, among other agricultural products.
RECSOIL will also be launched in five other countries in Latin America and Africa, for which the Costa Rican example and experience will be crucial and a pioneer for success.
Costa Rica is leading the way in implementing the RECSOIL program and is helping other countries in Latin America and Africa to reduce GHG emissions, preserve the soil’s overall health, and improve the quality of the soil.
The program’s long-term plans involve incorporating advanced technologies to measure soil carbon and develop sustainable business models for the production of meat, milk, and coffee, among other agricultural products.
The success of the program will depend on the participation and voluntary commitment of producers, technical support from participating organizations, and the integration of RECSOIL with other initiatives and programs to address climate change and promote sustainable agriculture.