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Soil Care Network Newsletter

June 2018

by Anna Krzywoszyńska



  • Beaver dams can stop soil loss – an unexpected ally!

  • Soil scientists have reached a new milestone, digitally mapping more than 8 million hectares of New Zealand soils

  • Human changing of soil chemistry has been happening since the Bronze Age. Ancient bones discovered in Ireland reveal that farming has actually altered nitrogen structure in land for the last 3,000 years

  • Russian Scientists researching ways of repairing contaminated soil are using organic waste to immobilize heavy metals, induce the soil to repair itself and create a healthier environment for the organisms living in it.

  • Increased deaths and illnesses from inhaling airborne dust: An understudied impact of climate change

  • The uncertainties associated with soil nanoplastic are the next challenge for scientists

  • Soil Health Institute Announces Methods for Evaluating Soil Health Indicators at a Continental Scale SHI has released the initial methods cooperating scientists will use to assess soil health indicators as they move toward standardization of soil health measurements.

  • Researchers from the Swiss research programme: "Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource" have developed ‘soil index points’ for measuring soil for planning purposes. It provides information on the question of where construction work can have the least impact on soil quality.

Editorials, blogs and opinion

  • Bringing Farming Back to Nature. FAO recognised agroecology as the desirable direction for the farming industry

  • A great overview of the international momentum growing around soil carbon

  • Soil Organic Carbon: Why Should Nations Invest In It To Keep Drylands Alive?


  • A call for embedding soil sustainability in agriculture. “Efforts should be made to include soil services (agricultural and non-agricultural) in ecosystem services frameworks. Sustainable management is essential to achieve food, water, energy, and soil security.”

  • We have no idea how much microplastic is in Australia’s soil (but it could be a lot)

  • Salinity crisis destroying Australia's farmland, but farmers hope to stop it

  • As California’s largest lake dries up, it threatens nearby communities with clouds of toxic dust

  • Where are soils in the new European CAP policy?


Soils in the news

  • Turkish soil at risk as worldwide desertification spreads 

  • In India there is growing concern that pollution and destruction of soil could lead to the extinction of the millipede, the veteran of soil ecosystems.

Policy and social movements

  • Poor land use costs countries 9 percent equivalent of their GDP – and need to move towards Land Degradation Neutrality; and more on Land Degradation Neutrality here

  • The hidden cost of UK food: Soil degradation. Sustainable Food Alliance’s report  The Hidden Cost of UK Food shows the loss of soil carbon across the UK costs £3.21 billion annually

  • Yorkshire Water and Future Food Solutions is spearheading a collaborative land-based programme which sees farmers, global food and drink brands, NGO’s and supply chain partners working together on an initiative to improve soil health – one they claim is the "first of its kind".

  • FAO and the Global Soils Partnership launch Afrisoils: a new programme to boost soil productivity and reduce soil degradation in Africa



  •  A pocket size book that illustrates the value of soils and water in everyday life has been published by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

  • A useful glossary of soil terms provided by Soilcare

  • The Communications & Education Action Team of the Soil Health Institute (SHI) is pleased to provide a catalog of soil health educational resources for K-12 educators and the general public, organized by audience and subject matter.

  • A new set of videos on how to design and carry out easy soil testing at home to understand the state of your soils


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