Ecosystem services (ESs) are increasingly being used by many countries around the world as a framework for addressing the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This review article of the usability of Libyan soil databases for ESs and SDGs is the first of its kind for North Africa. The objectives of the article are to: describe the available soil resources of Libya in relation to an ES framework; provide examples of the usability of Libyan soil databases for ES applications (e.g., provisioning, Healthy Eating Plate), and describe some of the typical disservices in the country. Desertification, salinization, and limited freshwater resources are the largest challenges (disservices) for agriculture and future development in Libya. Seawater intrusion in coastal areas due to rising sea levels has resulted in high concentrations of salts in irrigation waters, which can lead to low soil productivity. These challenges can be addressed by integrating Libyan soil resources into a market that transforms resources into goods and services to meet human demand in a sustainable manner, with non-market institutions mediating the interactions between humans and the environment. If Libyan soil resources are taken into account by both market and non-market institutions, it will lead to more efficient use of soil resources and also should enable the implementation of innovative strategies, such as integrated farming systems, non-soil-based agricultural production (e.g., hydroponics), and alternative farming practices.
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