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SOIL An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2020-38
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2020-38
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  14 Jul 2020

14 Jul 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SOIL and is expected to appear here in due course.

Soil: the great connector of our lives now and beyond COVID-19

Rosa M. Poch1, Lucia H. C. dos Anjos2, Rafla Attia3, Megan Balks4, Adalberto Benavides-Mendoza5, Martha M. Bolaños-Benavides6, Costanza Calzolari7, Lydia M. Chabala8, Peter C. de Ruiter9, Samuel Francke-Campaña10, Fernando García Préchac11, Ellen R. Graber12, Siosiua Halavatau13, Kutaiba M. Hassan14, Edmond Hien15, Ke Jin16, Mohammad Khan17, Maria Konyushkova18, David A. Lobb19, Matshwene E. Moshia20, Jun Murase21, Generose Nziguheba22, Ashok K. Patra23, Gary Pierzynski24, Natalia Rodríguez Eugenio25, and Ronald Vargas Rojas25 Rosa M. Poch et al.
  • 1Universitat de Lleida, Spain
  • 2Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Soils Dep. Brazil
  • 3Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Ressources Hydrauliques et de la Pêche, Tunisia
  • 4School of Science, University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • 5Dept. of Horticulture, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Mexico
  • 6Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation – AGROSAVIA, Colombia
  • 7CNR – Institute of BioEconomy, Italy
  • 8University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
  • 9Biometris, Wageningen University and Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 10Chilean Forestry Service, Secretary of Agriculture, Chile
  • 11Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
  • 12The Volcani Center, ARO, Rishon Letzion, Israel
  • 13Ministry of Agriculture, Tonga
  • 14Ministry of Agriculture, Iraq
  • 15Joseph Ki-Zerbo University, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • 16Institute of Grassland Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
  • 17Dept. of Soil and Environmental Sciences, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan
  • 18Lomonosov Moscow State University, Eurasian Center for Food Security, Moscow, Russia
  • 19University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
  • 20University of Fort Hare, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, Alice, South Africa
  • 21Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan
  • 22International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 23ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal, India
  • 24The Ohio State University, USA
  • 25Global Soil Partnership, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Abstract. Humanity depends on the existence of healthy soils, both for the production of food and for ensuring a healthy, biodiverse environment, among other functions. COVID-19 is threatening food availability in many places of the world due to the disruption of food chains, lack of workforce, closed borders and national lockdowns. As a consequence, more emphasis is being given to local food production, which may lead to more intensive cultivation of vulnerable areas and to soil degradation. In order to increase the resilience of populations facing this pandemic and future global crises, transitioning to a paradigm that relies more heavily on local food production on soils that are carefully tended and protected through sustainable management, is necessary. To reach this goal, the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soil (ITPS) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (ITPS) recommends five active strategies: improved access to land, sound land use planning, sustainable soil management, enhanced research, and investments in education and extension.

Rosa M. Poch et al.

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Rosa M. Poch et al.

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Short summary
Humanity depends on the existence of healthy soils, both for the production of food and for ensuring a healthy, biodiverse environment. In the face of global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, a sustainable soil management strategy is essential to ensure food security based on more diverse, locally oriented, and resilient food production systems through improving access to land, sound land use planning, sustainable soil management, enhanced research, and investment in education and extension.
Humanity depends on the existence of healthy soils, both for the production of food and for...
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