Sat, 22 Jan 2022

Soil isn't dirt: it's the foundation of life and needs real care

The Conversation
05 Dec 2021, 18:40 GMT+10

Healthy soil is critical for life on earth. It can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, food and nutrition security. It is central to achieving sustainable development goals. It is the foundation of life on land. It provides many ecosystem services and helps achieve ecosystem restoration.

The biggest challenge when it comes to soil is getting people to stop treating soil like dirt and start treating it with the respect it deserves. And this comes from soil stewardship, really caring for the land. But to do that, it's important to understand the soil ecosystem that needs restoring.

Land degradation is a serious problem when it comes to soil. Degraded landscapes are more vulnerable to the stresses of droughts, floods and erratic rainfall. Education about good soil practices is key, and people like farmers who use the soil need the tools to practise good soil management.

In today's episode of Pasha, Leigh Ann Winowiecki, a soil systems scientist at the World Agroforestry, and Rattan Lal, a distinguished professor of soil science at Ohio State University, discuss why soil needs to be front and centre of global policies.

We've also collected some more articles about soil here.

Photo: "Arid landscape in north Senegal. Eroded soil with few acacia trees. Traces of erosion on the sandy ground. Dry climate conducting to the desertification. Natural picture taken during the dry season." By Boulenger Xavier Shutterstock

Music "Happy African Village" by John Bartmann, found on FreeMusicArchive.org licensed under CC0 1.

"minimal ambient music/atmosphere fragment" by Clacksberg found on Freesound licensed under Creative Commons

Authors: Ozayr Patel - Digital Editor | Leigh Ann Winowiecki - Soil Systems Scientist, World Agroforestry (ICRAF) | Rattan Lal - Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, The Ohio State University The Conversation

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