Success for our first online N8 Debate on Soil Carbon

Our first N8 Debate on Encouraging Multifunctionality by Soil Carbon Sequestration held in London last week at British Water and The Work Foundation proved to be a great success.

The event chaired by Professor Joe Holden was streamed live and featured interactive questioning and input from a range of remote participants via our Adobe Connect link. Panel members represented a range of stakeholder views across the issue and included Miles Foulger (Yorkshire Water), Phil Haygarth (LEC), Patrick Thompson (RSPB) and Peter Melchett (Soil Association).

Watch the recording of the event via AdobeConnect.

Supported by over 60 delegates – the majority participating online – the debate began with an overview of the scale and complexity of landscape multifunctionality in relation to soil carbon sequestration. Discussion topics ranged from identifying areas where we need to focus efforts to get maximum benefits, ideas about how we should be pricing and valuing carbon in landscape management, how we should fund and incentivise soil carbon-enhancing activities and how (if that’s possible) we should aim to measure their success. There was a consensus across the panel that policy had to be looking towards long-term planning and evidence gathering and that the concept of landscape multifunctionality and ecosystem services needed a higher profile and a wider audience to encourage a broad basis of input for future decision making.

A collective output from the event will take the form of a policy guidance document that will chart a pathway for future UK policy and action.

Feedback on the format and use of the technology was positive and has encouraged us to explore uptake and use of interactive web-based meetings and events more widely.

Our next N8 Debate Valuing the Environment: Looking beyond the Economics is scheduled for Thursday May 26th at 4.30pm. Register to join us at Lancaster or to watch and take part online at

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