CH-2.5 :: Soil protection

Relevance of the issue and justification of the need for research:
Today in Switzerland a soil strategy is missing that defines how soils are to be used. Also missing are spatial planning instruments that integrate soil functions and therefore consider the quality of soils. Both aspects, however, are very important to make sound spatial planning decisions. In order to show better the high value soils have, economic valorisation of soil functions could be a solution where further research is needed. Moreover, there are no quality-assurance standards for soil-protection projects.
Specific research topics and knowledge gaps:
Land management
• Missing soil strategy: Develop a strategy on the use of soils, considering soil properties and their location.
• Spatial planning instruments considering soil functions: Develop spatial planning instruments that integrate the qualities of soils. Develop models to show the spatial distribution of soil functions in Switzerland. To this end, methods must be devised to reliably translate soil properties into soil functions.
• Acceptance of spatial planning instruments considering soil qualities: Show how to enhance the acceptance of spatial planning instruments considering the qualities of the soil by land owners, constructors, spatial planners and communalities.
• Economic valorisation of soil functions and multifunctionality: Develop methods to monetarise soil functions and the multifunctionality of the soil.
• Quality assurance in soil-protection projects: Develop standards for quality assurance in soil-protection projects that reveal the effectiveness of such projects and thus demonstrate whether the available implementation guidelines are sufficient.
• Website of “Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource”, National Research Programme NRP 68 (running): e.g. Felix Walter, Policy Instruments for Sustainable Soil and Land Use Management (Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), 2015a)

• SME/consultant, network, university/research institute, others, workshop participants