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Leaving No One Behind: Impact of Soil Pollution on Biodiversity in the Global South: A Global Call for Action

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Biodiversity in Africa: Potentials, Threats and Conservation

Abstract

Soil pollution, as one of the primary recipients of toxins, should not be a hidden secret anymore. There are many dangers associated with soil pollution, but its effects reach more than just the dimension of soil, as soil pollutants might negatively impact both human as well as ecological health. This review adds to increase in awareness of the problems faced by soil from pollution by bringing together a science-based approach to soil contamination as well as the interconnection with other global environmental challenges. As the Planetary Health and One Health initiatives stress, ecosystems and human health are inextricably linked, but none is isolated from one another. Toxins from polluted soil can affect all environmental compartments, including water, food, and air, as well as organisms, including humans. However, soil pollution cannot be effectively addressed without addressing pollution and its sources. As a result of soil pollution, ecosystem services can be lost, as well as serious economic losses and social injustices jeopardize the attainment of the 2030 Agenda at risk. Among the top contaminants sources resulting in soil contamination (order of significance) are mining, industrial operations, agriculture, waste treatment, extraction as well as processing of fossil fuels, as well as transportation emissions. However, there is not anything solid as well as comparable statistics on each sector's real emissions. Most contaminant releases to soil, with the exception of pesticide inputs, remain difficult to quantify and, as a result, continue to be highly unknown. Contaminants from industries continue to enter the environment at several phases of their whole life cycle, together with manufacture, contaminant manufacturing containing commodities, transportation, usage, as well as disposal are all factors to consider. Global yearly industrial chemical output has nearly quadrupled to over 2.3 billion tons in recent years, with an 85% rise expected by 2030. If production and consumption patterns do not change rapidly, environmental pollution and erosion are thus predicted to worsen unless there is a commitment towards true sustainable management of the environment that fully respects nature. Despite decades of research, there remain remarkable knowledge gaps and great uncertainty regarding the quantity and scope of affected locations, which is exacerbated by new contaminants contributing to the situation. There is a growing gap in knowledge regarding soils impacted through pollution diffusion as well as its influence on other environmental compartments has grown even wider.

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Raimi, M.O. et al. (2022). Leaving No One Behind: Impact of Soil Pollution on Biodiversity in the Global South: A Global Call for Action. In: Chibueze Izah, S. (eds) Biodiversity in Africa: Potentials, Threats and Conservation. Sustainable Development and Biodiversity, vol 29. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-3326-4_8

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