© 2014

Soil as World Heritage

  • David Dent


  • Of unique interest across the science policy field because the Balti site is the first and only World Heritage site for a soil and a significant branch of science

  • Contains data on the slow changes of soils and ecosystems under management

  • Bringing together scientists and policy makers to lay foundations of economic incentives and legislation that will steer more sustainable land use


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. The Soil and Environment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. A. Ursu, A. Overenco, I. Marcov, S. Curcubặt
      Pages 3-8
    3. S. Andrieş, V. Cerbari, V. Filipciuc
      Pages 9-15
    4. D. Girla (Dubit)
      Pages 57-59
    5. G. Jigau, M. Motelica, M. Lesanu, E. Tofan, L. Georgescu, C. Iticescu et al.
      Pages 61-68
    6. O. Lobova, V. Vakhnyak
      Pages 75-81
    7. E. V. Shein, V. M. Goncharov, M. A. Mazirov
      Pages 83-90
    8. Y. Dmytruk, Z. Matviyishyna, A. Kushnir
      Pages 91-100
  3. Soil Fertility: Lessons from Long-Term Field Experiments

About this book


Soil as World Heritage celebrates a half century of field experiments on the Balti Steppe, in Moldova - where  Dokuchaev first described the Typical Chernozem in 1877,  protected from the elements by a unique system of shelter belts designed by the great man, and now provisionally listed as the first World Heritage Site for soil. The book presents contributions to the 2012 international symposium attended by researchers, practitioners and policy makers from the European Commission and countries as diverse as Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy , the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and, of course, Moldova itself.

The experimental data demonstrate the damage caused by human activity to the productivity and integrity of the black earth and, also, ways to restore its fertility. Results from even longer-established trials worldwide also demonstrate that agricultural practices are driving global warming, leaching of nutrients, pollution of water resources, diversion of rainfall away from replenishment of soil and groundwater to destructive runoff, and destroying soil organic matter and biodiversity. These are pressing issues for our generation and will press harder on future generations. Long-term field experiments, and the scientific skills and experience that they nurture, will be more and more valuable as a foundation and focus for interdisciplinary teams studying the effects of farming practices on the soil and soil life so as to devise a sustainable alternative.

Europe-wide and worldwide contributions also discuss economic incentives - carbon and green water credits - which themselves require robust supporting data, and legislative aspects of promoting more sustainable farming systems. The outcomes of the conference include recommendations for institutional support for sustainable farming and a draft of the law on land and soil management for the Parliament of Moldova.


Long Term Field Experiments Soil Fertility Soil Management Sustainable Agriculture

Editors and affiliations

  • David Dent
    • 1
  1. 1.Chestnut Tree FarmhouseNorfolkUnited Kingdom

About the editors

David Dent has worked at the exposed frontiers of soil science and land use planning in every continent - embracing acid sulphate soils, salinity, innovation in practical applications of airborne geophysics and satellite remote sensing, and advocacy at the science–policy interface. His career spans soil survey, university teaching, research and advice to companies, governments and international organizations. He was awarded the Australia Day Centenary Medallion for scientific contributions to the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. Latterly Director of ISRIC – World Soil Information, since 2009 he is a Fellow of Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies.

Bibliographic information

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