The 4th of December 2015 is World Soil Day, part of the International Year of Soils. A breakfast with parliamentarians was held at Queensland University of Technology on the 2nd of December, convened by Penny Wensley (former governor of Queensland), with presentations by Dr Neil McKenzies (CSIRO) and Roger Shaw (Reef Water Quality Protection Plan independent science panel). Prof. Susanne Schmidt attended.
“Soils are the poor cousin of climate change.”
Key messages were that soils fare poor to very poor, globally, and that the biggest current challenges are erosion, carbon loss and nutrient imbalances.
Soil degradation is known to be a “wicked problem”, and often one that is hidden from the public. Australia’s soil problems have analogues around the world but we have a comparative advantage with a high level of technical expertise, although the field requires increased and ongoing investment to allow for continued research.