Andy Jarvis – Director Future of Food (Bezos Earth Fund)

The importance of Carbon Sequestration Interns

If i were to advise someone starting out their career in research about what topic they should choose, it would be a no-brainer to me.  This century we will face absolutely enormous challenges in getting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases out from the air.  There are engineers working relentlessly to build machines for direct air capture, that will grab the CO2 and put it into bricks that we might bury.  Others are looking to use oceans to sink the carbon dioxide.  But of all the options out there, the most noble is carbon sequestration from plants, because it is using and learning from the oracle of all knowledge – nature.  Millennia of evolution has meant that nature has learned pretty much every trick in the book. It’s tried, failed, tried again and failed again, and perfected processes which have so elegantly regulated our planet’s climate until we humans came along.

It makes me enormously happy to welcome the Carbon Sequestration Fellows to the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and proud that the Bezos Earth Fund is supporting this.  Having started out my career in CGIAR as an intern over 23 years ago, I look back fondly on those early years as having been a period of enormous learning and critical for helping me get to where I am today.  The fellows will not only build their own capacity and hopefully set forth on productive careers in this domain, but also build society’s capacity to handle the climate crisis through their research by learning from nature and developing knowledge on how we can use plants to better sequester carbon.