There is broad scientific consensus that healthy soils are a critical enabler of multiple global development goals. Soils are the basis for around 95% of global food production and provide incomes for millions of farmers around the globe. They sustain 25% of global biodiversity, provide the world’s largest terrestrial carbon sink, and are vital for climate adaptation. With up to 40% of soils worldwide already degraded, there are multiple global targets and initiatives to halt or reverse further negative trends, such as SDG target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) or the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
The fundamental question is: despite the wide availability of technical knowledge, demonstrated benefits at the farm and landscape levels, and ambitious commitments to restore degraded soils and land, why does progress remain so elusive?