ESBN Working Group on Land Degradation. Proposed by: Pandi Zdruli, Selim Kapur and Luca Montanarella. Is it feasible? Is it needed? Who should participate? What could be the outputs and deliverables? Who needs them? How to use them?. Land/soil degradation.
Pandi Zdruli, Selim Kapur and Luca Montanarella
Is it feasible?
Is it needed?
Who should participate?
What could be the outputs and deliverables?
Who needs them?
How to use them?
(i.e. climate change, volcanoes, earthquakes)
Could mitigate (+) BUT could accelerate (-)
effects on natural processes
quantitative and qualitative changes
Physical, chemical, and/or biological degradation of the SOIL loss of its ability to fulfil its functions (productivity and environmental)
Need for assessments that:
FAO 1979:Land degradation is a process which lowers the current and/or potential capability of soils to produce
Houghton and Charman 1986: Aspects of physical, chemical, and/or biological deterioration including loss of organic matter, decline in soil fertility, decline in structural condition, erosion, adverse changes in salinity, acidity or alkalinity, and the effects of toxic chemicals, pollutants or excessive flooding
UNEP 1992: Land degradation implies reduction of resource potential by one or a combination of processes acting on land
Definition adopted by the Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) project:
Land degradation isthe reduction in the capacity of the land to perform ecosystem functions and services (including those of agro-ecosystems and urban systems) that support society and development
functions and services
Through different processes (isolated or combined):
These processes are driven by different factors:
Is it feasible? Yes: ESBN has plenty of internal human resources
Is it needed for Europe? Yes
International Working Group on LD and Desertification of IUSS started as a Task Force in 1996 and converted to WG in World Congress of Soil Science in Montpellier in 1998
The focus remain in developing countries
But Land Degradation is a problem affecting both poor and rich countries including Europe (i.e. UNCCD Annex 4 European countries )
Who should participate? Scientists of different backgrounds
What could be the outputs deliverables? Atlas of Land Degradation for Europe (????) But first we MUST agree on the methodology;
Who needs them? A wide range of stakeholders from policy/decision makers (in Malta many of them do not consider LD a problem) down to the farming community
How to use and disseminate them? All available forms of communication including media, conferences, etc
European Soil Geographical Database 1:1M
Land Degradation Atlas of Europe
Main topics of the 5th ICLDvMultidisciplinary assessment of land degradation and desertification at local, national, regional and global scales;vInteraction between natural ecosystem components (land, water, biodiversity) and socio-economic indicators and their overall impact on land degradation;vImpacts of human mismanagement on natural resources and examples of best management practices in reducing land degradation effects;vPromotion of income-generating activities that alleviate poverty through enhancement of sustainable crop production systems and valorisation of indigenous knowledge in sustainable ecosystem management;vParticipatory management of natural resources as a mean to sustain both productivity and environmental sustainability; vEstablishing of the role and responsibilities of various stakeholders in reducing the negative effects of land degradation and enhancing soil conservation measures;vState and development of policy options, management strategies, and guidelines for sustainable natural resources use and management;vDevelopment of economically sustainable measures that match with environmental quality.