International Soil Protection Law: History, Concepts and Latest Developments

  • Ben W. BoerEmail author
  • Harald Ginzky
  • Irene L. Heuser
Part of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy book series (IYSLP, volume 2016)


This chapter sets out a short history of the development of soil protection law, focusing on the international legal aspects. It introduces the notion that soil, as a non-renewable natural resource, performs a range of functions, in terms of biodiversity conservation, food security and health. It argues that soil degradation needs to be treated on the same level as the loss of biodiversity and the adverse effects of climate change. It also urges that soil should be regarded as a common concern of humankind, and that over-arching international, regional and national regulation is required. It explores recent developments relevant to soil, including those found in the Outcome Document of the Rio de Janeiro 2012 Conference on Environment and Development ‘The Future We Want’, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets that were approved by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.


Clean Development Mechanism Kyoto Protocol Land Degradation Sustainable Development Goal Soil Protection 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben W. Boer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Harald Ginzky
    • 3
  • Irene L. Heuser
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Institute of Environmental LawWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.German Environment AgencyDessauGermany
  4. 4.IUCN World Commission on Environmental LawDeputy Chair of Specialist Group on Sustainable Soils and DesertificationKleinmachnowGermany

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