Global perspectives on sustainable soil management towards food security


International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS)

Time: Monday, 24. January 2022, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (CET), subsequent deep dive 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Languages: English, German

The panel showed several examples of soil-based approaches and best practices, based on scientific knowledge and cooperation with authorities and stakeholders, which can mitigate or resolve the conflicts between rural and urban areas. Clear planning for soil management and re-use is critical in retaining the potential value of soils. This requires knowledge of the soils and specialist input to soil handling strategies, and wider understanding of how new developments can be designed to maximise the extent of soil included, the health of that soil and how it can be used to support the community, from green spaces for climate adaptation to local food production. In urban environments, quantities of wastes and wastewater are produced, which are assets to increase agricultural productivity and construct soils of gardens, green roofs, and green areas. The reuse of treated wastewater in periurban agriculture sets high quality water free for human consumption. It has become mandatory to recognize and preserve urban soil functions to achieve sustainability. Based on the concept of regenerative agriculture and agroecology, the Green Revolution of the 21st century must be soil centric, ecosystem based, and aimed at producing more from less, practicing nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and returning some land and water back to nature. It is also important to grow soil C as a farm commodity that can create another income stream for land managers.


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Edoardo Costantini is an agronomist with a specialization in Pedology. He has carried out research work on soil genesis, classification, mapping, and conservation for over 40 years, leading national and international projects focused on Sustainable Soil Management; Soil Restoration and Conservation; Digital Soil Mapping and Geodatabases; Land Suitability for Winegrape and other Quality Crops. Currently, he is a senior researcher by the CNR-IBE – Biology, Agriculture and Food Sciences Department, Italy. He was Research Director at the CREA-Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment, Acting Director of the Research Centre for Agrobiology and Pedology in Florence, and professor of Pedology at the University of Siena, Italy. He is the President-Elect of the International Union of Soil Sciences. In 2017 he received the Norman Hudson Memorial Award of the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC) and in 2019 the Gerold Richter Award of the European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC).

Panel Guests

Lillian Øygarden is a researcher in department “Soil and Land use” at Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). She has a PhD in Soil Physics and experience from monitoring and research projects on agricultural farming practices and environmental effects, seasonal runoff and erosion from catchments, soil and water conservation. Currently she is coordinating work in NIBIO with climate change and effects on agricultural productions, measures for adaptation and for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The work includes possibilities of increased food production by improved agronomic practices and better integration of soil science and plant research. She is chair of the commission “Soil and Water Conservation” in IUSS.

Bruce is Director of Sustainable Land Management at Arcadis and President of the British Society of Soil Science. Bruce has a degree and PhD in Soil Science and following a period of undertaking research on various aspects of soils (particularly on soil erosion) became a consultant where he has worked on aspects of the inter-relationships between the physical environment and plant and animal communities (including the development of habitat creation and restoration techniques), the impact on soils and hydrology from land use change and on surveying and mapping soil and land use types across the UK.

Christina Siebe is a senior researcher at the department of Soil and Environmental Sciences of the Institute of Geology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She got her PhD form the University of Hohenheim, Germany, in 1994. She studies soil degradation processes in peri-urban and urban environments, with a special focus on waste management strategies which promote water and nutrient cycling. She oversees a Critical Zone Observatory at the Mezquital Valley where wastewater is reused for agriculture since more than a century. She currently coordinates the graduate program in Earth Sciences at UNAM, is an editor of the journal Catena and represents the German Science Foundation in Mexico.

Rattan Lal, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor and Director of CFAES Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration, the Ohio State University, and was soil Physicist at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria . He researches soil carbon sequestration, soil health, conservation agriculture, soil restoration and sustainable management. He has authored > 1000 journal articles, 550 book chapters, and written/ edited 100 books. He was President of the Soil Science Society of America (2006-2008), and the International Union of Soil Sciences (2017-2018). He holds a Chair in Soil Science and Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainability Issues for the IICA, Costa Rica. He was a member of the 2021-UNFSS Science Committee and Action Track 3 with focus on “Coalition 4 Action on Soil Health”. He is laureate of the 2018 World Soil Prize,2019 Japan Prize and 2020 World Food Prize.


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