Defra Soil Protection Research in the Context of the Soil Natural Capital / Ecosystem Services Framework

Robinson, David A.; Cooper, David; Emmett, Bridget A.; Evans, Chris D.; Keith, Aidan; Lebron, Inma; Lofts, Stephen; Norton, Lisa; Reynolds, Brian; Tipping, Edward; Rawlins, Barry G.; Tye, Andrew M.; Watts, Chris W.; Whalley, W. Richard; Black, Helaina I.J.; Warren, Geoff P.; Robinson, Stephen; Michaelides, Katerina; Hockley, Neal J.. 2011 Defra Soil Protection Research in the Context of the Soil Natural Capital / Ecosystem Services Framework. DEFRA.

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Summary: "A Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." This quote from, F.D. Roosevelt, 1937, from a letter written to all state Governors in the USA following the dust bowl, encapsulates the importance of soil protection. The dust bowl brought about legislation to protect and conserve soils as a fundamental natural resource in the USA between 1930 and 1936. In current times we are facing unprecedented pressure on land resources from multiple uses here in the UK and across Europe. In response to these increasing pressures Defra has produced soil protection reports and strategies including the report, ‘Safeguarding our Soils: A Strategy for England’ (PB13297). The vision statement of this document reads, ‘By 2030, all England’s soils will be managed sustainably and degradation threats tackled successfully. This will improve the quality of England’s soils and safeguard their ability to provide essential services for future generations.’ Similarly, the Welsh Assembly Government commissioned, ‘The Welsh Soils Action Plan’ (WSAP, 2009) which has a similar goal. These documents set out the pressing issues with regard to soils, their management and protection, and therefore serve as a useful contextual tool for synthesizing past Defra research with regard to current issues. This report synthesises soil protection research commissioned by Defra between 1990 and 2008, to provide the state of current Defra knowledge with regard to soil protection. Contextually, an attempt is made to fit the synthesized knowledge into the Natural Capital / Ecosystem Services framework. It offers a bold, fresh approach that will orient the report firmly in the context of strengthening the linking of science and policy through Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services, and firmly aligns the research with ongoing EU efforts. The report is comprised of 5 work packages for Defra project SP1607 “Defra research on soil protection 1990 - 2008: Synthesis of outputs’. Defra has made a firm commitment to adopt the ecosystems approach which is designed to convey the value of ecosystems, their capital, and their goods and services into the decision making / policy development process. The workpackages address the following: WP1: Chapter 1) Place England and Wales soil policy and research efforts in the wider context of European and International policy. Chapter 2) Identify and synthesize knowledge of needs of farmers, resource managers and the wider society. Chapter 3) Describe the soil natural capital / ecosystem services framework. WP2: Chapter 4) Evaluate current indicators and soil sampling/measurement strategy. Chapter 5) Evaluate work done on the quantification of soil capital. Chapter 6) Evaluate work done on the soil Ecosystem Services. WP3: Chapter 7) Identify Impact of climate change on soils, soil function, and threats to soil protection. Chapter 8) Identify threats to soils, for the England and Wales context; Evaluate research tackling threats that may degrade soil capital or reduce services. WP4: Chapter 9) Evaluate work done on the valuing of soil Natural Capital. WP5: Chapter 10) Future Vision.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 3 - Managing Threats to Environment and Health > BGC - 3.2 - Provide the evidence base for setting Environment Quality Standards ...
BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
Funders/Sponsors: Defra
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This report forms part of: Project SP1607: Synthesis of Soil Protection work 1990-2008
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 23 Jun 2011 11:04 +0 (UTC)

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