Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 499519
Title The significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Author(s) Keesstra, S.D.; Bouma, J.; Wallinga, J.; Tittonell, P.A.; Putten, W.H. van der; Mol, G.; Jansen, Boris; Fresco, L.O.
Source Soil 2 (2016). - ISSN 2199-3971 - p. 111 - 128.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/soil-2-111-2016
Department(s) Soil Physics and Land Management
PE&RC
Soil Geography and Landscape
Farming Systems Ecology
Laboratory of Nematology
EPS
Alterra - Soil, water and land use
Raad van Bestuur
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract In this forum paper we discuss how soil scientists can help to reach the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the most effective manner. Soil science, as a land-related discipline, has important links to several of the SDGs, which are demonstrated through the functions of soils and the ecosystem services that are linked to those functions (see graphical abstract in the Supplement).We explore and discuss how soil scientists can rise to the challenge both internally, in terms of our procedures and practices, and externally, in terms of our relations with colleague scientists in other disciplines, diverse groups of stakeholders and the policy arena. To meet these goals we recommend the following steps to be taken by the soil science community as a
whole: (i) embrace the UN SDGs, as they provide a platform that allows soil science to demonstrate its relevance for realizing a sustainable society by 2030; (ii) show the specific value of soil science: research should explicitly show how using modern soil information can improve the results of inter- and transdisciplinary studies on SDGs related to food security, water scarcity, climate change, biodiversity loss and health threats; (iii) take leadership in overarching system analysis of ecosystems, as soils and soil scientists have an integrated nature and this places soil scientists in a unique position; (iii) raise awareness of soil organic matter as a key attribute of soils to illustrate its importance for soil functions and ecosystem services; (iv) improve the transfer of knowledge through
knowledge brokers with a soil background; (v) start at the basis: educational programmes are needed at all levels, starting in primary schools, and emphasizing practical, down-to-earth examples; (vi) facilitate communication
with the policy arena by framing research in terms that resonate with politicians in terms of the policy cycle or by considering drivers, pressures and responses affecting impacts of land use change; and finally (vii) all this is only possible if researchers, with soil scientists in the front lines, look over the hedge towards other disciplines, to the world at large and to the policy arena, reaching over to listen first, as a basis for genuine collaboration.
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