The five dimensions of soil security

Published on
December 1, 2021

Titia Mulder of the Soil Geography and Landscape group co-authored a review paper combining recent developments in soil mapping and soil monitoring with the five dimensions of soil security. Those dimensions are: 1. potential ('soil capability'); 2. current state ('soil condition'); 3. added value from human perspective ('soil capital'); 4. social context ('soil connectivity') and 5. policy and regulation applied to soil resources ('soil codification').

The authors argue that for soil capability and soil condition, the current methods work well on larger scale but could be more finetuned for local scale. The soil capital dimension can be derived by connecting existing information to the concept of ecosystem services or by assigning monetary values. Concerning soil connectivity, there are challenges  in the communication between soil scientist and other stakeholders.  Improved soil connectivity will support soil codification which will do justice to both the soil condition as well as different stakeholders' interests.

At the Soil Geography and Landscape group we improve and share understanding of soil patterns and landscape dynamics aiming to support sustainable land management. The presented theoretical framework and the snapshot of the current state of affairs help us to make this goal more concrete.

More reading: Soil mapping, digital soil mapping and soil monitoring over large areas and the dimensions of soil security – A review