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Publication | 2022

Global status of black soils

This report highlights throughout the importance of two main goals: the preservation of the natural vegetation cover on black soils under grassland, forest and wetland vegetation and the adoption of sustainable soil management approaches on cropped black soils. The preservation of natural cover protects the rich organic matter levels from decomposition and release of large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere; the adoption of sustainable management approaches such as reduced tillage and no-till allows soil organic matter levels to stabilize and (ideally) to increase. While adoption of improved management occurs at the individual farm level, protection of natural landscapes often requires the development of monitoring systems for the status of and changes to the condition of black soils, and governance at sub-national and national levels.

With this report, the International Network of Black Soils has documented the extent and importance of black soils to agricultural production and seeks to address the global threat of rising atmospheric carbon levels and the climate warming that result from this. It is hoped that the many examples of beneficial soil management and governance it contains can serve as an inspiration for the adoption of improved management approaches throughout the black soil zones of the world.