Soil Enrichment Protocol

The Reserve is developing a Soil Enrichment Protocol (SEP) that will provide guidance on how to quantify, monitor, report, and verify agricultural practices that enhance carbon storage in soils. The primary GHG benefit targeted will be the accrual of additional carbon in agricultural soils, with hopes to incentivize GHG emission reductions from other sources, such as N2O from fertilizer use.

Protocol development is being generously funded by Indigo Ag, who is partnering with the Reserve on this effort. The protocol is expected to be presented to the Reserve Board of Directors in June 2020; see the development timeline below.

Public Scoping Meeting

The Reserve hosted a public scoping meeting on January 15, 2020 to discuss this new project type. The webinar recording is available below and the presentation slides will be available soon.


The Soil Enrichment Protocol is being developed through the Reserve’s multi-stakeholder workgroup process. The Reserve strives to create a well-balanced workgroup consisting of industry representatives, project developers, farmers, environmental NGOs, verification bodies, independent consultants, academia, and government bodies. Workgroup member organizations include:

Alliance of Crop Soil and Environmental Science Societies OpenTEAM, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Salk Institute
Colorado State University SES, Inc.
Continuum Ag Shell International Exploration and Production Inc.
C-Quest Capital Sierra View Consulting
Delta Institute The Nature Conservancy
Goodson Ranch LP TREES Consulting LLC
Indigo Ag, Inc. University of California, Berkeley
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University Viresco Solutions Inc
NativeEnergy Woods Hole Research Center
Natural Resources Conservation Service World Resources Institute

Interested stakeholders are welcome to participate in the process as “observers.” Observers may attend workgroup meetings in listen-only mode, comment on the draft protocol when it is released for public comment, and attend the public webinar held during the public comment period. Please email [email protected] if interested in participating as an observer.

Workgroup Meetings

Soil Enrichment Protocol Workgroup Meeting 1
February 6, 2020
Meeting recording
Reserve presentation slides

Soil Enrichment Protocol Workgroup Meeting 2
March 6, 2020
Meeting recording
Reserve presentation slides

Protocol Development Timeline

The following timeline will be updated as the protocol development process unfolds.

Public scoping meeting January 15
SOI form deadline January 17
Staff conducts internal research and drafts protocol January
First workgroup meeting February 6
Second workgroup meeting March 6
Third workgroup meeting  April 3
Public comment period April – May
Protocol presented to Reserve Board for approval Expected June 10


Please contact [email protected] with questions or comments.