Chapter 7: Policy, Education, and Outreach

Since the ancient ages, we have shown interest in studying soil creatures and understanding the roles that they play in providing services to people’s daily life. Research into soil biodiversity has boomed worldwide over the last years thanks to the new available DNA-based technologies. Not only scientists, but also common people are fascinated by the immense life beneath our feet. Changes in the way human society interact with nature require changes in its perception. Education, awareness activities and citizen science projects have increased the appreciation of the services offered by soil organisms. They have also raised behaviors to sustainably manage and conserve the soil natural capital to benefit future generations. As a result, people are more and more conscious of the value and beauty of soil organisms. A key message that needs also to reach policy makers in order to promote the development of specific policies for soil biodiversity. While actions for biodiversity and soil are present in many countries, measures to protect soil life have not been established yet. Titled “Policy, Education and Outreach”, chapter VII of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas covers all these aspects, from historical knowledge and current research into soil biodiversity to education and policy for soil life protection. The chapter message is clear and simple: our own lives would not be possible without soil biodiversity.

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