Status of the world’s soil resources report
This report (PDF) from the FAO is a reference document on the status of global soil resources that provides regional assessments of soil change. It marks the end of The UN Year of Soils 2015. The report states that soils are rapidly deteriorating due to soil erosion, nutrient depletion, loss of organic carbon, soil sealing and other threats. The report notes how there is a general consensus on soil-related strategies that can, on the one hand, increase the supply of food, while on the other, minimize harmful environmental impacts. The solution proposed focuses on sustainable soil management and requires the participation of a broad level of stakeholders ranging from governments to small-holder farmers. The report identifies four priorities for action: 1) Minimize further degradation of soils and restore the productivity of soils that are already degraded in regions where people are most vulnerable; 2) Stabilize global stores of soil organic matter, including both soil organic carbon and soil organisms; 3) Stabilize or reduce global use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer, while increasing fertilizer use in regions of nutrient deficiency; and 4) Improve our knowledge about the state and trend of soil conditions. Such actions need to be supported by targeted policies, including support for the development of soil information systems to monitor and forecast soil change; increasing education and awareness on soil issues by integrating this into formal education and across the curriculum; investing in research development and extension, to develop test and disseminate sustainable soil management technologies and practices; introducing appropriate and effective regulation and incentives; supporting achievement of local, regional and international food security by considering countries’ soil resources and their capacities to manage them sustainably.
Please find the technical summary here.