Long-Term Experiences with the Action “Soil of the Year” in Germany

  • Monika FrielinghausEmail author
  • Gerhard Milbert
Part of the Innovations in Landscape Research book series (ILR)


Soils are valuable because they provide the basis for food and are the habitat for many animals, plants, and microorganisms. They are integral parts of landscapes, protect water resources, and store and transform nutrients. Soils act as a buffer against climatic effects and tell stories. This incomplete list already shows that soils are multifunctional and not replaceable. They are a limited resource whose protection has to be specially considered. Soils are threatened in their multi-functionality by pollutants and chemical substances, climate change, sealing, and erosion. All human activities use soils in a direct or indirect way. Therefore, everybody is a “soil stakeholder” and has to bear responsibility for soil protection. However, conservation cannot be successful without an awareness of and knowledge about soil valuation. This insight, which means understanding soils and their problems, has to be developed through education and the transfer of knowledge. This was the background against which the members of the German Soil Science Society (DBG) and the Federal Soil Association of Germany (BVB) initiated the action “Soil of the Year” in 2004. A committee prepared a concept for the launch and a guideline for the annual election procedure. The action is evaluated based on a presentation of 15 different soils.


Soil Soil functions Soil type Landscape Soil awareness Soil of the year 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kuratorium Boden des JahresGeldernGermany

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