Land management is crucial both for humans and the preservation of biodiversity. Soil is essential to the existence of living species on our planet. Despite this, land management is too often perceived only in terms of support to agricultural production and as a physical basis on which to develop human activities.
Land management plays a primary role in maintaining biodiversity – over 95 % of terrestrial biodiversity lives in soil for a relevant part of its natural history –, regulating nutritional cycles, controlling the quantity of atmospheric CO2, protecting underground waters from pollution, regulating surface water flows producing direct effects on floods and landslides, etc. Moreover, plant biomass depends on the conditions of the soil with evident consequences on the whole food chain.
Land management generally influences life and humans and necessary elements for their sustenance, and is crucial for soil preservation – soil is a largely non-renewable and extremely fragile resource.
In many Italian areas, severe soil degradation processes are occurring due to inappropriate management, sometimes even in an irreversible way. These processes result from growing demands from various economic sectors and from population growth, the impacts of climate change and changes in use. The evolution of the most important dynamics of land cover and land use on national territory, between 1990 and 2006, highlights a progressive increase in artificial areas to the detriment of cropland and, after 2000, of forestland and semi-natural environments. These processes may often be highlighted too late, when they are irreversible or so advanced that recovery is extremely difficult and economically inconvenient.
For a detailed treatment of topics addressed above, see key topics at
[Commonality topics] land
[COMMONALITY] Why should we care?