Soils as a Key Component of the Critical Zone 2

Societal Issues

Volume 2 – Soils SET Coordinated by Christian Valentin

Soils as a Key Component of the Critical Zone 2

Edited by

Guillaume Dhérissard, Federation of the Regional National Parks of France

ISBN : 9781786302168

Publication Date : August 2018

Hardcover 168 pp

120.00 USD



The functions of soils are manifold. They act as a basis for plant life, support for constructions and infrastructure, a biodiversity reserve, a carbon store and so much more. As such, their crucial importance for human life is no longer questioned. Yet soils, already fragile, are regularly victims of our own conflicts of interest, ranging from local to global scales and spanning environmental and economic spheres.

This book provides an overview of the issues linked to better soil management. Various angles and perspectives are presented, whether those of an agronomist, lawyer, economist, landscaper or political scientist. These analyses and reflections allow us to better reflect on the status of soils within our societies, allowing us to understand their diverse roles as well as the impact of human activity. The authors’ contributions focus in particular on the most appropriate conditions of governance for the management of this precious asset.


Foreword, André Mariotti

Part 1. Local and Global
1. Effective Management of Agricultural Soils: A Challenge for Society, Cécile Claveirole and Agnès Courtoux.
2. A New “Great Game” over the World’s Arable Land?, Alain Karsenty.

Part 2. Different Forms of Sustainable Management
3. The Soil: A Strange Legal Notion, Maylis Desrousseaux.
4. Where is Soil in the Design and Management of Sustainable Farming Systems? The View of an Agronomist, François Laurent.

Part 3. Territorial Approaches
5. Common Governance of Soil Quality, Complex and Multi-player Dynamics, Didier Christin and Guillaume Dhérissard
6. Moving Discussions Toward Co-diagnostics: Progressive Approaches, Christine King.
7. The Soil as Territorial Commons: The Point of View of a Landscaper, Pierre Donadieu.

About the authors/editors

Guillaume Dhérissard, an agricultural engineer and futurist, leads the Sol et Civilisation think tank and is a member of both the Académie d’Agriculture de France (Academy of Agriculture of France) and the Comité d’Orientation de Recherche et de Prospective (Research and Foresight Orientation Committee) of the Federation of the Regional National Parks of France.