To use soil sustainably calls for detailed information about its properties. However, this is lacking for large areas of Switzerland. The National Research Programme “Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource” (NRP 68) is proposing a “Swiss soil information platform” and showing how soil mapping can be expedited by using digital methods.
Each year almost one thousand hectares of cultivated land continue to be lost, thereby wiping out numerous services delivered by the soil, such as filtering water and storing carbon, which are central for our society’s wellbeing. The National Research Programme "Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource" (NRP 68) is suggesting ways in which spatial planning can be structured so that this loss remains as small as possible. First and foremost, soil quality should play a larger role in spatial planning decision-making.Image: Urs Steiger