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Title: Drafting Legislation for Sustainable Soils: A Guide
Contributor(s): Hannam, Ian  (author); Boer, B (author)
Corporate Author: IUCN: The World Conservation Union and IWMI: International Water Management Institute
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: Soil is the basis of virtually all terrestrial life. It is both an inherent part of biological diversity as well as the major part of its foundation. Without soil, human and many other forms of life on earth could not exist. It is with this understanding that this guide to drafting soil legislation is put forward. Its ethical underpinning is that we, as humans, have a responsibility to ensure that all life forms dependent on soil have an optimum right to a continued existence, in the short term as individuals and populations and in the longer term as species and ecosystems. It has been forecast that the global human population will increase from the present 6 billion up to 8 billion by the year 2020. In order that sufficient food will be provided, both for these additional people and to raise the standard of provision for those at present with an inadequate diet, a large increase in food production must take place. This increase in food production must come from approximately the same land area as is at present under agriculture, as the remainder is too dry, too wet, too cold, or too steep and mountainous to make a significant contribution. This inevitably means greater pressure will be put on prime lands, and especially those with the most fertile soils, to provide the extra food required. As demand increases, there will be increasing pressure also on the less productive soils, where the impact of soil degradation is most dramatically seen, even resulting in the displacement of people from their homelands. The effects of the increase in the human population on the world, especially in terms of the decline in food security, indicates that soil has ecological limits which change according to the variations within different ecosystems and the cultural relationships with the land and soil resources. In this context, it is relevant to highlight the role that the element "water" plays in enabling the "soil" to be used within its inherent ecological capabilities and ecological limits to produce food and to supply other resources and raw materials for human needs.
Publication Type: Report
Publisher: IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Place of Publication: IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK
ISBN: 2831708133
Field of Research (FOR): 180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: R2 Consultants Report
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Series Name: IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper
Series Number : 52
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