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Frequently Asked Questions 

You Asked, We Answered

What is Carbon?
Carbon is a naturally occurring element (C) found in all life forms including air, trees, grass, and soil. Like all elements, the total amount of carbon in the world never changes, however, the amount of carbon in any given place can change over time.

How does carbon move around the world?

Carbon moves through the atmosphere and around the world in a number of ways. For example, when oil is extracted from the ground for energy production and burned by industrial power plants, carbon is released in the air. Carbon has moved from below the ground, into the atmosphere. Increased carbon in the atmosphere drives climate change. 

Can we move carbon from the atmosphere back into the ground?
Yes! Sustainable grazing practices that help manage vegetation and fire management can help restore degraded areas and increase the amount of carbon in the soil. Soils for the Future Tanzania focuses on these two methods. 

What are sustainable grazing practices?
Rapid rotational grazing utilizes a portion of the grazing land while allowing the remainder to rest. Livestock is rotated from section to section allowing the “resting” portion to recover. Rotational grazing leads to recovered grass, greater infiltration with lower runoff, and a deeper organic layer that absorbs more carbon. More soil carbon means greater moisture retention and nutrient cycling capacity, making the land more resilient to drought. Learn more here.

What is fire management? 
Land managers can accomplish a “cooler” burn by intentionally starting grassland fires early in the dry season, using less woody fuel overall but still removing enough vegetation to prevent unintended high-intensity fires later in the season. As a result, less carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere, while more carbon is retained in the soil. Both outcomes are quantifiable and sellable as carbon offset credits on the global carbon market. Read through more fire management FAQs here.

How does Soils for the Future Africa help achieve these initiatives?
Soils for the Future Africa offers management solutions, training, and analyses of data to help people change the way they use the land, whether through agricultural practices, grazing management, fire management, forestry or other activities, to improve soils and to achieve more carbon-rich soils.

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