Interest in soil health and its strong links to climate change adaptation and resilience has dramatically increased over the past several years. Despite this rising interest, soil health continues to be significantly undervalued and under-protected by society.
In early 2019, the Alberta Land Institute (ALI) identified Sustainable Agriculture: Soil Health as a new area of research priority. The Soil Health: Policy, Science and Law in Action research initiative was proposed to strengthen public policy, amplify scientific knowledge and improve farming practices in the area of soil health. An initial review of policies and efforts in Alberta highlighted a failure to recognize soil as a valuable public resource with fragmented efforts to address research gaps. A workshop held later that year further identified dissatisfaction with soil management policies and practices including a need for improved access to scientifically sound research and the need for better education and outreach efforts on the value of soil.
The research generated through this study aims to address these challenges and increase awareness among policymakers, producers, and the public, on the importance of soil health to sustainable land management, real estate values, and the continued prosperity and well-being of Albertans.
This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.