A Commons Conversation speaks to the importance of commons, its legal and social recognition, and the need to protect the rights of local people through the community regulation of the commons. The protagonists took part in a workshop hosted by…
Tenure rights to ‘commons’ — communally shared lands, forests and water — are increasingly contested due to a rising demand for natural resources from growing populations and ineffective governance. Last week, African countries invited researchers and civil-society representatives to take…
If land and soil degradation continue at the current rate, it will be hard for future generations to meet their basic needs. But how can we foster the sustainable management of these – in human terms – non-renewable resources? What…
Political debates on global challenges such as achieving food security and combating climate change often fail to consider one of the most vital natural resources of all: soils. This is not a surprise – the multiple beneficial functions of soil are not readily apparent at first glance. Despite the enormous losses involved, soil degradation often occurs so slowly that it takes more than a single human lifetime for its effects to become visible. In land used for agricultural purposes, it takes about 500 years for a 2.5cm layer of fertile topsoil to form. […]
A little bit more than a year ago, delegates to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) agreed that they would “strive to achieve a land-degradation-neutral world in the context of sustainable development.” The UN General Assembly, in its adoption of the resolution ‘The future we want’ (A/RES/66/288), on 27 July 2012, supported this ambitious goal. This resolution is a landmark achievement, as it addresses one of the most significant challenges to sustainable development – the loss of fertile soil. […]
Soil degradation is a critical and growing global problem. As the world population increases, pressure on soil also increases and the natural capital of soil faces continuing decline. International policy makers have recognized this and a range of initiatives to address it have emerged over recent years.
Increasing human demands on soil-derived ecosystem services requires reliable data on global soil resources for sustainable development.
THE EXTENT OF SOIL SEALING