Improving soil and water conservation and ecosystem services by sustainable soil management practices: From a global to an Italian soil partnership

  • Filiberto Altobelli | filiberto.altobelli@crea.gov.it CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Rome, Italy. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2499-8640
  • Ronald Vargas Land and Water Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Corti Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.
  • Carmelo Dazzi Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy.
  • Luca Montanarella European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra (VA), Italy.
  • Alessandro Monteleone CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Rome, Italy.
  • Lucrezia Caon Land and Water Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.
  • Maria Grazia Piazza CREA Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of Agricultural Economics, Rome, Italy.
  • Costanza Calzolari CNR Institute for BioEconomy, Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy.
  • Michele Munafò Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Rome, Italy.
  • Anna Benedetti CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identify the need to restore degraded soils in order to improve productivity and the provision of ecosystem services. The aim is to support food production, store and supply clean water, conserve biodiversity, sequester carbon, and improve soil resilience in a context of climate change. Within this framework, in order to achieve the SDGs and to correct land management in the long-term, soil management is considered mandatory. The reduction of land degradation should be based on various sustainable soil management practices that improve and maintain soil organic matter levels, increase water infiltration, and improve soil water management. This technical review - a policy paper - summarizes the sustainable and territorial impact of soil degradation, including soil water erosion, from the global level to the European and National levels. Furthermore, with the aim of sharing ongoing soil and water management actions, instruments, and initiatives, we provide information on soil and water conservation activities and prospects in Italy.

 

Highlights

- Sustainable soil management practices should be implemented to address soil degradation.
- Impact of erosion on crop production reduces global crop yields by 0.4% per year.
- Improving the physical and chemical characteristics of soils can contribute to store and supply water to plants.
- Soil protection is a very important topic in the European Commission’s proposal for the CAP 2021-2027.

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Published
2020-12-16
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Land degradation, soil erosion, water conservation, increase soil availability, soil sealing, sustainable soil management.
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How to Cite
Altobelli, F., Vargas, R., Corti, G., Dazzi, C., Montanarella, L., Monteleone, A., Caon, L., Piazza, M. G., Calzolari, C., Munafò, M., & Benedetti, A. (2020). Improving soil and water conservation and ecosystem services by sustainable soil management practices: From a global to an Italian soil partnership. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 15(4), 293-298. https://doi.org/10.4081/ija.2020.1765

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