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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3807; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103807

Justifying Soil Protection and Sustainable Soil Management: Creation-Ethical, Legal and Economic Considerations

1
Department of Economics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04315 Leipzig, Germany
2
Institut für Katholische Theologie, University Osnabrück, Schloßstraße 4, 49074 Osnabrück, Germany
3
Department of Environmental Law, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04315 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Governance of Sustainable Soil Management)
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Abstract

Fertile soils form an important basis for survival for humans, but also for animals, plants and ecosystems, on which all terrestrial organisms rely. Soil is not only of central importance to the global provision of food and in the fight against hunger; climate, biological diversity and water bodies are also highly dependent on soil quality. Soil conservation is therefore a decisive factor in the survival of humanity. Pope Francis also emphasized this in his encyclical “Laudato si’”. However, increasing pressure is being exerted on soils, which poses an enormous challenge to the international community and thus also to the church. Against this background, in this article, which is based on a Memorandum of the German Bishops’ Working Group on Ecological Issues, arguments and justifications for soil protection and sustainable soil management are developed from different angles—from a creation-ethical, a legal, and an economic perspective. All three perspectives point in the same direction, namely that in the use of soils public interests that serve the society and the environment should be given priority over private interests. These arguments may serve as an important reference point in political and societal debates about soils, and may support strategies for sustainable soil management. View Full-Text
Keywords: justifying soil protection; sustainable soil management; creation ethics; Laudato si’; property rights; German Constitutional Law justifying soil protection; sustainable soil management; creation ethics; Laudato si’; property rights; German Constitutional Law
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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Hansjürgens, B.; Lienkamp, A.; Möckel, S. Justifying Soil Protection and Sustainable Soil Management: Creation-Ethical, Legal and Economic Considerations. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3807.

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