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17.01.2020

Key messages of NRP 68

NRP 68 laid the groundwork for the sustainable use of soil in Switzerland. In so doing, it considered both the environmental and economic benefits of soil.

​The concept of ecosystem services made it possible to realise the value of soil functions and their contribution to human well-being. The programme comprised 25 research projects carried out between 2013 and 2017. The budget amounted to CHF 13 million. The results are presented in five thematic syntheses and one overall synthesis report.

The key messages are:

Incorporating soil quality into spatial planning

NRP 68 proposes that spatial planning decisions take account of soil quality. Researchers developed soil index points to enable them to quantify soil quality.

Gearing soil management to soil quality

NRP 68 advocates developing agriculture and forestry management systems so that they are adapted to local conditions and geared to soil quality. As part of this, organic matter content should become a key indicator in agricultural policy.

Factoring in the impact of soil on climate

NRP 68 advocates holding a fundamental political discussion on the future use of peatland. In view of the impact of nitrous oxide on the climate, however, it is also important to continue reducing nitrogen input in agriculture.

Closing the gaps in soil mapping

Once the soil data is available, it will be possible to use soil more efficiently in terms of, for example, irrigation, fertiliser use, drinking water production or protection against natural hazards.

Global responsibility for sustainable soil use

Companies and Swiss foreign policy should ensure that soil quality is a consideration.

Making soil policy more coherent

NRP 68 recommends improving coordination at the administrative level, approving the associated federal soil strategy that is currently under discussion, implementing it rapidly and, above all, making decision makers more aware of soil-related issues.

NRP 68 held its final media conference on 17 December 2018. Here you can find the corresponding media coverage (selection, in German and French):

Further information on this content

 Contact

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Dr. Pascal Walther Programme manager +41 31 308 22 26 pascal.walther@snf.ch