National Soil Action Plan Welcomed By Soil Scientists

Today, on World Soil Day, Soil Science Australia has welcomed release of Australia’s National Soil Action Plan 2023–28.

The Action Plan is the first five-year plan under the 20-year National Soil Strategy and was launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon. Murray Watt, at the Parliamentary Friends of Soil World Soil Day networking event which was hosted by Soil Science Australia at Parliament House on 28 November.

“Australia is indeed a land of droughts and of flooding rains,” said Mr Edward Scott, President of Soil Science Australia.

“It is fitting we welcome the eagerly-anticipated Action Plan in conjunction with World Soil Day, with 2023’s theme being ‘Soil and Water: a source of life’.

“Improved soil and water management provides a plethora of benefits—from agricultural to environmental—including improving the land’s resilience to withstand extreme climate events such as droughts, floods and wind erosion,” Mr Scott said.

As Australia’s professional association for soil scientists, representing people interested in the responsible management of Australia’s soil resources, Soil Science Australia was a key influencer in development of the Action Plan.

“Our organisation is taking a lead role in implementing several initiatives outlined in the Action Plan,” said Mr Michael Walker, CEO of Soil Science Australia. 

“We are supporting the work of the Regional Soil Coordinators and the National Soil Community of Practice.

“We are also supporting the soil workforce to meet future challenges for Australia and our region, through the Certified Professional Soil Scientist and the Registered Soil Practitioner accreditation programs,” Mr Walker said.

The four priority actions of the National Soil Action Plan 2023-28 include:

  • Develop an agreed national framework to support the measurement, monitoring, mapping reporting and sharing of soil state and trends information, to inform best management decision making and future investment in soil.
  • Develop a holistic policy and strategy approach where soil function is recognised, valued and protected for the environment, economy, food, infrastructure, health, biosecurity and communities.
  • Accelerate the adoption of land use and management practices that protect soil and improve soil state and trends.
  • Identify and develop the soil workforce and capabilities need to meet current and future challenges for Australia and our region.

“The Action Plan has exciting implications for Soil Science Australia and I encourage anyone with an interest in food production, ecosystem management and human well-being to have a look through the document and share with your networks,” Mr Walker said.

DID YOU KNOW  

  • World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December 
  • 95% of our food comes from soils. 
  • One cubic metre of healthy soil can retain over 250 litres of water. 
  • Healthy soil plays a crucial role as a natural filter, purifying and storing water as it infiltrates the ground. 
  • Integrated soil and water management practices provide essential ecosystem services, supporting life on earth and enhancing ecosystem resilience.

 

ENQUIRIES AND FURTHER INFORMATION  

Soil Science Australia: CEO, Mr Michael Walker 0476 450 321 <

National Soil Action Plan: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/natural-resources/soils/national-soil-action-plan

World Soil Day resources: https://www.soilscienceaustralia.org.au/about/save-our-soils/