Final Report

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The 4 per 1000 Initiative, the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency  and Regeneration International are pleased to invite you to the 4 per 1000 Africa Symposium on Soils for Food Security and Climate to be held on October 24 to 26 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The main objective of this symposium is to offer an opportunity of bringing international stakeholders in the sector together with experts and practitioners to engage in an open debate and to share experiences and lessons on the relationship between soil and climate and the benefits of soil health for the African continent.

The 4 per 1000 Africa Symposium on Soils for Food Security and Climate will bring together over 150 international practitioners, experts and decision makers to engage in an open debate and share experiences on the relationship between soil and climate and the benefits of soil health in supporting all forms of life. All participants will get familiarised with the work of existing initiatives in Africa, including CAADP, AFR100, CSA, CGW and AAA. This interaction aims to build strong synergies for the continent to effectively transform towards productive and highly resilient agriculture, based on appropriate land and soil management, securing sufficient nutritious food, creating incomes and consequently promoting sustainable development.

NEPAD is the implementing agency of the African Union, aiming at eradicating poverty and fostering Africa's sustainable growth and development through the promotion of regional and continental integration. It facilitates and coordinates the development of NEPAD continent-wide programs and projects, mobilises resources and engages the global community, regional economic communities and member states in the implementation of these programs and projects. Under the area of work “Natural Resources Governance and Food Security”, three programs are being coordinated by NEPAD:

•    Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)
•    African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100)
•    Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)
•    Sahel and West Africa Program in Support of the Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI)

These three programs deal directly with the target topics of the 4 per 1000 initiative, namely climate change and food security. A key objective of the symposium is to bring together relevant stakeholders active in these three programs to explore and introduce synergies between them and the 4 per 1000 initiative. In this manner, duplication of efforts can be avoided and main gaps identified in order to achieve progress in soil carbon enhancement as fast and effective as possible and thus contribute in an efficient and sustainable way to improved food production and adaptation to climate change while contributing to reducing the greenhouse gas concentration of the atmosphere via soil carbon sequestration.

The 4 per 1000 initiative becomes an incredible tool to access policy makers as well as sharing practices that can be replicated to make the most of the soil as one of the world’s largest carbon sink.  This will be the first event to be dedicated to communicating this initiative in the African continent and to discuss efforts to increase soil organic carbon by building up the land’s ability to draw down excess carbon from the atmosphere.

Financially supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, the French Agency for Development as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of France in addition to the event organisers, the symposium will be held over three days articulated around plenary sessions and workshops to present the “4 per 1000” Initiative and other relevant Initiatives already active in the topic of agriculture and land use in Africa in order to improve coordination of different programs and initiatives on the issue of soil carbon storage; discuss best practices and case studies; and adopt a set of common quantified objectives and a timing.

You are kindly invited personally and/or to appoint a delegation to take part to this important symposium for Africa around Soils for Food Security and Climate.


The event will be organised around 5 sessions starting on Wednesday, October 24th at 8 am and ending on Friday, October 26th at noon.

The 4 per 1000 Africa Symposium will be opened by the president of the 4 per 1000 initiative and NEPAD’s CEO Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki (tbc). In addition, an opening speech from a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa is planned (tbc).

In the first session, the main challenges of African agriculture in the context of climate change will be presented by a Keynote Speaker followed by an overview presentation of the NEPAD programs CAADP, AFR100, CSA and GGWI. Success stories and case studies related to soil health and sustainable agriculture will be presented thereafter by Regeneration International, the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as well as GIZ. The afternoon of the first day will be dedicated to presenting the 4 per 1000 initiative and developing synergies with the existing initiatives in Africa.

The second day of the symposium will be organised around the four pillars I. healthy living soils, II. food security, III. adaptation to climate change and IV. contribution to global mitigation with a balance of presenting the scientific basis, success stories from the ground and break out groups to discuss what the existing initiatives have achieved around the four pillars and which activities the 4 per 1000 initiative should undertake to contribute to this progress. The final day of the event will present the conclusions and a two-year  for activities in the African continent.

The final agenda overview is available here.


You may view slideshows from the following presentations from the 2018 Symposium:

•Climate change from an African and global perspective - challenges and opportunities
Pascal Martinez (The GEF)

•L’Initiative de la Grande Muraille Verte: Une réponse pour lutter contre la dégradation des terres et pour la restauration des terres arides
Ambassador Amadou Diallo (NEPAD West Africa Agency)

•Agricultural Productivity and the issues of land degradation in Africa
Hamady Diop (NEPAD NGR/FNS)

•The Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) to climate change
Rachid Bouabid (Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture de Meknès, on behalf of the AAA initiative)

•Overview of Africa’s potential as part of the global solution and success stories on the ground
Andre Leu (Regeneration International)

•Case Study: Soil programs in South Africa and the importance of data & information systems
Ramakgwale Klaas Mampholo (DAFF)

•Case study: Multi-country-program Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security
Alexander Erlewein (GIZ)

•Case study: Africa Centre for Holistic Management – experiences from Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa
Simon Garikayi (Africa Centre for Holistic Management)

•Introduction to the 4 per 1000 Initiative
Paul Luu (4 per 1000 Initiative)

•Film “It's All About the Landscape” by the World Future Council

•The importance of healthy living soils in sustaining increased productivity and ecosystem services
Ermias Betemariam  (UNCCD-SPI/ICRAF/WLE)  and Leigh Ann Winowiecki (ICRAF/WLE) 

•Success story from Ethiopia - Conservation-Based Agricultural Development-Led Industrialization,
Atinkut Mezgebu Wubneh (Government of the National State of Tigray)

•Food Security – concepts, dimensions and strategies, importance of soil carbon
Jean-Luc Chotte (IRD) 

•Working with communities to restore growth, profitably
Rolf Schenton (Grassroots Trust Zambia)

•Adapting Agriculture to climate change in Africa – the answers of science
Rachid Moussadek (INRA Morocco)

•Agricultural communities adapting to climate change
Ntombizakhe (Zakhe) Mpofu Mlilo (ORAP Zenzele)

IV. Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and removals – potentials and contribution to global climate change mitigation

IV. Scaling up soil carbon enhancement contributing to mitigate climate change
Rolf Sommer (CIAT/WLE) 

•Outcomes of the CIRCASA workshop
Corrie Maria Swanepoel (ARC)

Reports from the breakout sessions:

•Healthy soils
Leigh Ann Winowiecki (ICRAF/WLE) and Ermias Betemariam  (UNCCD-SPI/ICRAF/WLE), Rapporteur: Gianna Braun (4 per 1000 Initiative)   

•Food security
Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle (Ministry of Agriculture, France) and Siegfried Harrer (BLE), Rapporteur: Herminie Delanne (4 per 1000 Initiative) 

•Adaptation to climate Change
Dorothee Nett (GIZ) and Sonja Esche (GIZ), Rapporteur: Diana Mawoko (GIZ / NEPAD)

•Contribution to global mitigation
Ronnie Cummins (Organic Consumers Association) and Tantely Razamfimbelo (University of Antanarivo / CaSA Network), Rapporteur: Viridiana Alcántara (4 per 1000 Initiative) 


The “4 per 1000” Africa Symposium on Soils for Food Security and Climate will take place at the Birchwood Hotel & Conference Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Birchwood Hotel provides complementary shuttle services every hour between OR Tambo International Airport and the hotel as well as between the hotel and East Rand Shopping Mall.


With the financial support from:






Partner Events

•SA-EU dialogue on soil information
22 to 23 October 2018, Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa

Southern Africa regional hub from CIRCASA
23 October 2018, Birchwood Hotel

More on 4/1000 Initiative

The 4 per 1000 initiative was launched in 2015 at the UNFCCC COP21 as part of the Lima-Paris Plan of action and the follow-up Global Climate Action Plan adopted at the COP22. The overarching goal of this initiative is to assist contributing countries and non-state organisations to develop evidence-based projects, actions and programs to promote and encourage actions towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions through protecting and increasing the amount of soil carbon. The target rate of a “4 per 1000” (0.4%) per year represents hereby an aspirational goal.  The initiative aims to avoid loss of organic matter from soils and improve soil carbon sequestration with the ultimate goal of improving food security and reducing climate change.

Learn more about the initiative

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