A group of land and soil specialists has proposed three indicators to measure soil health that they say could help the UN monitor its future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UN’s Millennium Development Goals, which expire this year,include one indicator referring directly to land use (the proportion of land area covered by forest) and none related to soil quality. But things should change under the SDGs, which will guide global development efforts after 2015, say the soil managers in a statement issued earlier this month (3 March).
The authors lay out a package of three indicators to track both biophysical and socioeconomic changes: land cover and land use change; land productivity change; and change in soil organic carbon. These topics deserve more political attention, and the UN’s Statistical Commission should include these measures in its list of indicators to monitor progress towards the SDGs, the authors say.
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