The Sustainable Management of Soils as a Common Concern of Humankind: How to Implement It?

  • Harald Ginzky
Part of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy book series (IYSLP, volume 2017)


The chapter analyzes whether the sustainable management of soils can be regarded as a common concern of humankind. It shows that there are strong arguments to support this assumption from a factual and scientific point of view. Furthermore, the chapter shows that decisions adopted at the international level underline that this is also politically acceptable. A legally binding agreement is, however, not yet in place. The chapter then asks what implementation tools and approaches could be suitable with regard to sustainable management of soils. This seems to be particularly complex because, first, at least eight different types of soil threats must be differentiated; second, the political and economic realities worldwide are different; and, third, the types of soils are almost uncountable. The chapter provides arguments that instruments applied within the bounds of the CBD could be transportable to the sustainable management of soils. Moreover, looking to the regime of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on Deep Seabed Mining in the Area, two different conceptual approaches on how to ensure implementation are identified. The chapter provides arguments that the approach to precisely determine the international obligations would be suitable for the sustainable management of soils provided that a certain degree of flexibility is applied.



The author thanks Ralph Bodle, Beth Dooley, Ian Hannam, Irene Heuser, Till Markus and Pradeep Singh for very constructive comments. Errors and omissions are the sole responsibility of the author.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Environment AgencyDessauGermany

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