The UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Soils: Status and Future Options

Part of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy book series (IYSLP, volume 2016)


How does the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) presently addresses the topic of soils? And what are potential ways of strengthening the integration of soils in the CBD agenda in the future?

The paper at hand reviews these questions. Firstly, we give a brief overview of the international governance of soil sustainability to date, locating the role of the CBD in this context. Secondly, we elaborate on how the CBD addresses soil (biodiversity) issues—e.g., in its Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets, through principles for the sustainable use of biodiversity, the CBD’s Ecosystem Approach as well as the International Soil Biodiversity Initiative. In the discussion, we highlight the value and shortcomings of the soil topic under the CBD. We also develop options for strengthening sustainable soil management both within and through the CBD. We conclude that the CBD can indeed contribute to the political promotion of sustainable soil use but that there are presently few incentives for CBD parties to push the process forward. Also, to be effective, the CBD is dependent on meaningful progress in international politics on the broader topic of sustainable land use.


Ecosystem Service United Nations Soil Management Ecosystem Approach International Governance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Law & Governance DivisionOeko-InstituteFreiburg, Darmstadt, BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Ecologic InstituteBerlinGermany

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