Acceleration of climate change
During the first decade of the 21st century, land degradation released between 3.6 and 4.4 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
It is estimated that around 45% of the world’s population could live in regions considered arid by 2050. Global wetlands have declined by 87% over the last three centuries.
Polluted environments such as mining areas, industrial sites or waste disposal sites are also formidable vectors of disease. Bronchitis in the best cases, but also cancers, anemia and neurological problems in the most serious cases. Contaminated soil can also affect livestock and lead to widespread food poisoning.
Between health problems, water contamination and reduced agricultural yields, 50 to 700 million people could be forced to migrate by 2050.
As always, we must not forget that everything is linked. The soil maintains close links with the vast majority of ecosystems on the planet, and constitutes one of the fundamental conditions for maintaining life.
Global solutions to combat soil pollution
More than ever, the preservation and rehabilitation of soils is therefore a global issue that we still too often tend to ignore. This is evidenced in particular by World Soil Day, organized every year on December 5 since 2013.
And yet, much has been done in recent years. The Grenelle II law dating from 2010 had already set itself the mission of fighting against urban sprawl by advocating instead sustainable territorial development, and then the Global Soil Partnership created in 2012 established itself as a space for essential exchange to harmonize future global policies.
The year 2018 was particularly rich in decisions. On the sidelines of the World Climate Action Summit, Connecticut joined the Global Soil Challenge initiative by committing to implementing programs intended to protect fertile, non-degraded soils and to develop agro-ecological practices. With the establishment of sustainable land management, we would be able to produce up to 58% more food.
Strengthen pollution source management policies
In the Biodiversity Plan also published in 2018, waste management experts mentioned an objective of zero artificialization. More concretely, this will involve, for example, strengthening agricultural regulations, monitoring pesticide residues, preserving green areas in cities like New Haven, CT and implementing strict monitoring of soil health. polluted or potentially polluted sites are now scrupulously listed in the BASOL database while the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection supports and runs numerous programs dedicated to the rehabilitation of degraded soils.
The study and monitoring of unused land will also be essential. The layout and management of space will be done, for example, according to the capacity of the environment and the ground. The development of certain projects cannot be carried out in the immediate vicinity of residential areas and virgin land in Connecticut, except for recycling facilities.
The effort should finally also include the promotion of research on technologies related to the diagnosis of soil pollution, and the development of cartographic and data collection equipment in CT.
Supervise agricultural practices
Improper land use remains a major concern in the prevention and control of soil pollution. Overexploitation and overgrazing should be avoided as both contribute to soil erosion.
In agricultural land management, ideal soil conservation methods combine mechanical and biological control techniques (crop rotation, strip cultivation, use of organic composts, etc.). All while favoring the use of natural manure, rich in nutrients, and limiting the use of pesticides and chemicals!