November 29, 2022

Hardwood Paroxysm

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In the archives of the 43rd National Congress of the Italian Society of Soil Sciences

Rome – “This important event is one of those moments, which we hope will be repeated more and more often for the sharing and development of knowledge on a topic that has multiple repercussions for the life of the planet and for all mankind. Without soil, in fact, there would be neither food nor many raw materials, nor would there be There is purification of water and air, and we will not have much of what we call ‘ecosystem services’, which are essential to life on Earth” Carlo Gaudiopresident CreateOn the occasion of the 43rd National Congress of the Italian Society of Soil Sciences (SISS), co-organized by CREA, with the Centers for Agriculture, Environment, Policies and Bioeconomics, which concludes today October 7 in Rome, after three intense days.

Results of the 43rd National SISS Conference. The conference was an opportunity to assess the still misunderstood and sometimes underestimated, but invaluable resource, in a context severely affected by climate change, addressing issues ranging from sustainable development, to biodiversity, to agricultural and forestry management. Even digitizing soil information.

32 scientific reports and 5 advocacy reports have been submitted, from which it is shown that despite 100 years of studies conducted, soil is still a largely unexplored topic. It is essential to learn more about erosion mitigation, how to functionally reintroduce organic matter, the role of microorganisms and the reuse of biomass derived from the agrifood process to improve soil health. This knowledge is essential not only for the agroforestry sector, but also for variability and adaptation to climate change and for the maintenance of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. For this reason, the soil was recognized as having economic and political importance of the first level.

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Soil in numbers.

More than 95% of food production, and therefore of human life, depends on the soil, which hosts, in the first 5 cm, 90% of the biodiversity of the planet in terms of living organisms, capable of regulating nutrients indispensable to crops. It is a global carbon sink, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, helping to increase resilience to climate change, as well as purifying and regulating water (tens of thousands of cubic kilometers of water annually). It is a precious and non-renewable resource, the formation of one cm of fertile soil takes from 100 to 1000 years. However, today more than 33% of the world’s soils are affected by severe restrictions on food production and every half hour 500 hectares are lost, with significant repercussions also at the economic level, as well as at the ecological level: 75 billion tons of soil is less. It can be planted every year, all over the world, costing about $400 billion in lost agricultural production.

“Many of the economic and social problems that we see at the national and global levels depend on the soil – stated Giuseppe Corti, Director of Agriculture and Environment at CREA -. In Italy, in 50-70 years the soil lost tens of centimeters of its thickness due to erosion and, therefore, 35% ( national data) of its water holding capacity.At the same time, the reduction of soil organic matter was converting to carbon dioxide.Translator – concludes Giuseppe Corti, who is also the president-elect of SISS – The most frequent floods we have recorded in the past two decades, as well as the mismanagement of the territory and riverbeds, are due to the reduced capacity of the soil to hold water. Which brings with it the deaths and destruction that a serious policy of soil and slope management and organic matter recovery can greatly reduce.”

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