Il degrado della risorsa suolo, quale futuro per l’agricoltura e per l’ambiente?

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Claudio Colombo *
Giuseppe Palumbo
Angelo Belliggiano
(*) Corresponding Author:
Claudio Colombo |


Soil is a vital resource for sustaining life of the Earth. This resource has a low ability for regeneration, while it is subjected to increasing human pressure; it is therefore, in need of protection, as recognized by the UE in Europe and by the FAO at world scale. Soil provides important functions related to: the agriculture as vegetable biomass production and row materials of the Agro-Food processing; the water regulation and hydrogeologic protection, the regulation of the biochemical cycles of the fundamental elements for life: nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur; the degradation of the xenobiotics polluting substance; the preservation of the biodiversity; the preservation of cultural artifact: the climatic regulation, relating to the function of carbonic sink provided by the soil organic matter and biomass. The UE has call attention that the soil threats like: erosion, organic matter decline, local and widespread contamination, sealing, compaction, biodiversity decline, salinization and landslides are closely linked to agriculture (Soil Thematic Strategy of the UE). According to FAO assessment the percentage of soil degraded in the world was about 15% in 2001 and is increased up to 27% in 2008. The 78% of the degraded soil are located in the humid regions and concern in equal measure both forest that cultivated land. Such tendency points out that the agricultural and forest productions in long time will be strongly influenced by the soil degradation there it will be a decrease also if the same surface of agricultural land. In cultivated land one of the principal cause of the productivity decline is the excessive dependence of the farmer on the productive factors employees in to increase the production level (inputs), with the result to damage the soil in the long time, therefore, all ecosystems dependent on soil. Different soil quality indexes have been proposed and elaborated in to attempt to evaluate the sustainability of land use activities as part of national and international programmes on sustainable soil management. Actually, Rural Policy, in particular the agri-environment measures, offers member states or regions new opportunities for encouraging farmers to achieve soil quality in to decrease soil degradation. Although, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), to date, soil protection is not a specific objective, nor does a targeted policy framework for soils seem exist.

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Article Details

Author Biographies

Claudio Colombo, Università del Molise

Dipartimento di Scienze Animali Vegetali e dell’Ambiente

Giuseppe Palumbo, Università del Molise

Dipartimento di Scienze Animali Vegetali e dell’Ambiente

Angelo Belliggiano, Università del Molise

Dipartimento STAAM