The two major topics discussed showed considerable overlap, and related mainly to the following questions:
- How do you show show results for carbon (C) sequestration within the project time frame?
- What are the most important indicators of soil quality?
Suggestions regarding these issues were discussed in detail; however, the conversation eventually turned to the importance establishing the efficacy of CAPS through scientific studies. The merits of high-tech versus low-tech methods for analyzing soils and biophysical parameters were also discussed.
Major, recurring topics
- Total organic carbon (TOC) and soil organic matter (OM)
- Methods and issues related to measuring C changes
- Importance of TOC measurements (too small to detect for C sequestration within the project timeframe, but important for evaluating soil quality)
- Reasons for scientific documentation of CAPS impacts (as opposed to farmer perception)
Processes and products
- Labile and stable SOC fractions
- SOC light fraction
- Particulate organic matter (POM)
- Greenhouse gasses (GHGs)
- The scientific foundation of CA in order to establish credibility among policymakers and decision makers
- Soil C sequestration analyses should focus on parameters most likely to demonstrate effects within the project time frame (i.e. light fraction, POM, labile SOM)
- Scientific documentation of the positive impacts of CAPS is necessary to establish credibility among and inform policy makers
- Level of technological sophistication should be based on the needs of a particular project, rather than some external criterion