Soil and its sustainability

Healthy and productive soils are central to achieving a number of the 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly this year. Soils sustain our food systems, filter and regulate the flow of freshwater, store vast quantities of carbon and support myriad organisms. But the world’s soils are increasingly under pressure from climate change, population growth and poor land management.

This collection brings together a selection of articles that explore soil in its manifold roles in shaping the Earth’s environment and human society. The make-up and management of soils, and their influence on human health and extreme poverty, are some of the topics investigated.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils to raise awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil.  We hope that the collection supports this aim and that the Year of Soils is a starting point for improved understanding, better protection and sustainable management of this precious resource.

News and Opinion