Soils play a critical role in delivering ecosystem services. Healthy soils are a basic prerequisite to meeting varied needs for food, biomass (energy), fiber, fodder, and other products, and to ensuring the provision of essential ecosystem services in all regions of the world. However, soil resources are facing unprecedented pressures today, many of which are human-induced. Over the past three decades, there have been marked developments in our broader understanding of humankind’s impacts on the earth, and of the frameworks with which to assess these impacts. Specific soil processes are central to earth-system processes that provide the safe operating space for humanity – the concept of 'planetary boundaries' that cannot be exceeded without causing potentially disastrous consequences for humanity).
Global Land Outlook Working Paper