Economics has an important connection with the health of soils (see, for example, P. Panagos et al. Nature 526, 195; 2015). Integrating information on soil resources with other measures of natural capital and economic activity remains one of the least developed areas of the United Nations System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA).

The SEEA is a broad-scale monitoring tool that is gaining global momentum. It integrates environmental data with economic measures such as national income, stock markets and gross domestic product.

The potential of the SEEA and natural-capital accounting to support regional, national and global monitoring efforts is being rapidly recognized in forums such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the development of a Natural Capital Protocol for businesses. Accounting for soil resources makes a valuable contribution to this bigger picture.