It can be concluded that all of the above proves the importance of the soil, as well as many international projects and treaties, are not indifferent. To achieve the most sustainable development goals for united nations, healthy soils play a key role. For instance, SDG 2 works on food security, and ending hunger using sustainable agriculture. The soil is very important to achieve this goal since it produces at least 96 world food products.
Another one is SDG 3 namely good health and well-being.
In short healthy lives for all and a reduction in the number of deaths from soil pollution.
Climate action under SDG 13 also entered this list because, in climate change mitigation, the soil takes a crucial place. Soil is the world’s largest carbon sink and can help reverse climate change through carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
All the above goals are related to the soil but among them, SDG 15 is thoroughly connected to soil health. Combating desertification and restoring degraded soil are the aims of SDG 15.
We have to focus on land restoration and soil rehabilitation because the world population grow day by day.
In addition, an article by Lal (2009) features how soil degradation results in nutrient lack in plants, which in turn affects crop yields that are available for consumption, human health (i.e. SDG 3.1, 3.2), and overall food security (i.e. SDG 2.1). Beyond individual changes at the farm level, to address the SDGs on climate (target 13.2), land degradation neutrality (target 15.3), and hunger (targets 2.1 and 2.4), governments must systematically enact soil conservation policies to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change and extractive farming practices on soil fertility.
The project Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals for Soils aimed to examine how the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Target 15.3 on ‘Land Degradation Neutrality’ could be implemented in Germany and at the global level.
According to FAO data, land degradation affects over 20% of the world population. Land and soil protection is of central importance for food security, as well as the delivery of multiple other ecosystem services. Thus, the reversal of land degradation and protection of soil functions and ecosystem services are also key to achieving sustainable development goals.
Apart from SDG goals, The Ramsar Convention (The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is perhaps the most significant inter-governmental agreement on wetlands. According to the convention, the term ‘wetland’ groups together a wide range of habitats that share common features, the most important of which is continuous, seasonal, or periodic standing water or saturated soils.
All wetlands are made up of a mixture of soil, water, nutrients as well as plants and animals. The interactions among these components allow the wetlands to perform a certain ecological or natural function and generate products that are of socio-economic importance.
Firstly, when wetlands lose their water as a result of drainage, their soils dry out and are no longer able to store large volumes of water. As a result, there is an increase in surface run-off and frequency of floods. The annual flow period of the river is reduced and many water courses dry up. This is already being experienced in many parts of Ghana, especially the Volta Basin.
Secondly, when wetlands soils are exposed due to drainage or the destruction of their vegetation through bush fires, lumbering, and fuel-wood harvesting, leaching of soil nutrient take place and the sulfides in the original soils are converted into sulphuric acid leading to acidification. The soil may shrink upon drying and can no longer support good agriculture or plant life. Contemporary wetlands face many challenges. But wetland ecosystems are also resilient, and if care is taken to reduce pressures and introduce effective management, some of the problems can be halted or reversed.