The complex and strong link between soil degradation, climate change and food insecurity is a global challenge. Sustainable agricultural systems must be integral to any agenda to address climate change and variability, improve renewable fresh water supply and quality, restore degraded soils and ecosystems and advance food security. These challenges are being exacerbated by increasing population and decreasing per capita arable land area and renewable fresh water supply, the increasing frequency of extreme events, the decreasing resilience of agroecosystems, an increasing income and affluent lifestyle with growing preference towards meat-based diet and a decreasing soil quality and use efficiency of inputs. Reversing these downward spirals implies the implementation of proven technologies, such as conservation agriculture, integrated nutrient management, precision agriculture, agroforestry systems, etc.
Restoration of degraded soil and desertified ecosystems and the creation of positive soil and ecosystem C budgets are important. Urban agriculture and green roofs can reduce the energy footprint of production chains for urban and non-urban areas and enhance the recycling of by-products. Researchable priorities include sustainable land use and soil/water management options, judicious soil governance and modus operandi
towards payments to land managers for the provisioning of ecosystem services.