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The goal of this carbon pilot project is to better understand how holistically planned grazing can be rolled out across multiple community conservancies, and to determine the extent of rangeland improvement and soil carbon sequestration.

The Nature Conservancy is working with partners in northern Kenya–The Northern Rangelands Trust–to investigate the potential for using livestock to improve degraded rangelands and put more carbon in the soil. While most carbon projects focus on avoided loss or sequestering more carbon above ground, this project is looking at the value of putting carbon back into the soil. The hope is to rely on the Northern Rangelands Trust’s “grass roots” local governance structures built over the past decade to change existing nomadic grazing practices that will ultimately improve grass and its roots to put more carbon in the soil.

In this project, improved livestock management is the agent of change. When livestock management is improved, it effectively converts livestock from being the primary cause of habitat degradation to one of the primary cures. Early estimates suggest there will be enough revenue to pay for sustaining the grazing management program, and potentially generate a surplus that could be returned directly to the pastoral communities that ultimately determine the fate of this landscape.

~ Tim Tear, TNC