𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲:
Soil health and its overall quality have been under severe attack due to the adoption of unsustainable practices, such as widespread mechanization and the use of chemical fertilizers.
In the FAO’s “Protocol for the Assessment of Sustainable Soil Management”, it is recognized that our planet is currently facing several global challenges that put pressure on our natural resources; issues such as urban sprawl, climate change, poverty, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, pollution, migration, and pandemics need to be controlled and mitigated if we want to achieve more sustainable development. Nowadays, more than ever, the role of soil and its health and quality is closely related to our capacity for climate change mitigation and enable the resilience of life on Earth.
The Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management defined by FAO, define Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) as: “Soil management is sustainable if the supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services provided by soil are maintained or enhanced without significantly impairing either the soil functions that enable those services or biodiversity. The balance between the supporting and provisioning services for plant production and the regulating services the soil provides for water quality and availability and for atmospheric greenhouse gas composition is a particular concern”.
For a good soil management, one should consider its ability to support and promote services for plant growth, support services for below-ground biodiversity, regulate services for an adequate water quantity and quality, and regulate services in order to increase carbon mitigation and, therefore, limiting the emission of greenhouse gases.
In other words, a sustainably managed soil has the ability to grow quality crops, while undertaking some human activities that have an impact on soil, in such a way as to avoid adverse effects on the soil or the wider environment, including its biodiversity.
Thus, restoring soil quality and fertility is one of humanity’s best decisions for making progress on three of today’s great challenges: feeding everyone, resisting climate change, and conserving biodiversity.
In this sixth webinar of our 3rd cycle, “Healthy, living and resilient soils”, we talked about the importance of good practices for soil management and how can this influence soil health and highlight the most recent technological advances and the challenges still to be overcome in this research area.