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Challenges 2016, 7(2), 15; doi:10.3390/challe7020015

Putting Soil Security on the Policy Agenda: Need for a Familiar Framework

1
Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2
Department of Crop Science, School of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3
Soil Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Accra, Ghana
4
Department of Environmental Science, School of Biological Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
5
Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Lund University, Lund 22100, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Palmiro Poltronieri
Received: 4 July 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [336 KB, uploaded 29 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Soils generate agricultural, environmental, and socio-economic benefits that are vital to human life. The enormity of threats to global soil stocks raises the imperative for securing this vital resource. To contribute to the security framing and advancement of the soil security concept and discourse, this paper provides a working definition and proposes dimensions that can underpin the conceptualization of soil security. In this paper, soil security refers to safeguarding and improving the quality, quantity and functionality of soil stocks from critical and pervasive threats in order to guarantee the availability, access, and utilization of soils to sustainably generate productive goods and ecosystem services. The dimensions proposed are availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability, which are obviously similar to the dimensions of food security. Availability refers to the quality and spatial distribution of soils of a given category. Accessibility relates to the conditions or mechanisms by which actors negotiate and gain entitlements to occupy and use a given soil. Utilization deals with the use or purpose to which a given soil is put and the capacity to manage and generate optimal private and public benefits from the soil. Finally, stability refers to the governance mechanisms that safeguard and improve the first three dimensions. These dimensions, their interactions, and how they can be operationalized in a strategy to secure soils are presented and discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil security; dimensions; availability; accessibility; utilization; stability; critical and pervasive threats; ecosystem services; policy agenda soil security; dimensions; availability; accessibility; utilization; stability; critical and pervasive threats; ecosystem services; policy agenda
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yawson, D.O.; Adu, M.O.; Ason, B.; Armah, F.A.; Yengoh, G.T. Putting Soil Security on the Policy Agenda: Need for a Familiar Framework. Challenges 2016, 7, 15.

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