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Protecting soils – securing livelihoods

Field boundary in Brandenburg, Germany

Background: We're losing ground

Public opinion seems to feel that protecting soils is much less important than, for instance, climate action. In fact, however, the loss of soil worldwide is dramatic. With it we are losing the very foundation of life – for humankind and all other creatures on earth. Especially in the arid zones of the planet, inadequate and excessive agricultural exploitation is leading to the degradation of vast stretches of land, which means that they are being damaged in a way that they can no longer or barely serve any ecological or economic purpose. This loss of soil has a tremendous effect on climate, biodiversity and worldwide food security. more


International policy on soil protection

Unlike climate action and conservation of biodiversity, soil protection was neglected by international environment policy for a long time. In many international environmental agreements soil protection features only indirectly. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which entered into force in 1996, still is the only international agreement that deals explicitly with soils – limited, however, to arid zones. more


Soil protection in German development cooperation

Soil protection has been an issue for German development cooperation activities for many years now. For the most part, Germany does not carry out specific soil-related projects; soil protection mostly features as a cross-cutting issue of all projects and programmes in the fields of rural development, protection of water catchment areas, conservation of biodiversity and climate action. In early 2014, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) launched the special initiative "ONE WORLD – No Hunger". The initiative addresses its main objective, fighting hunger and malnutrition, by combining measures from the areas of food security, rural development and promotion of agriculture. more


Further information on soil

Here you can find a selection of links to websites and documents offering additional information on the issue of soil. more


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