One Investment, many Benefits: Soil Rehabilitation for Poverty Reduction, Food Security, Climate Change Adaptation, and Biodiversity Protection

2018 | C. Sperk | A. Müller | J. Weigelt | J. Davis | R. Prabhu

Published as GIZ & BMZ Policy Brief

See the full report here.


1. Without strategic investment in soil rehabilitation and protection poor and food insecure households will be left behind and global agendas will not be achieved! Targeting is of the essence.

2. Public investment in soil protection and rehabilitation must be increased; the private sector has little incentive in investing in soil rehabilitation by food insecure households.

3. Cross-sectorial coordination is pivotal to create the right incentives and to ensure that structural hindrances to SLM are addressed systematically.

4. Technologies for protecting and rehabilitating land and soil at plot and farm levels are well known but are seldom applied at larger scales. Successful adoption – and adaptation – at scale is conditional on locally owned and driven processes.

5. Supportive tenure systems and responsive agricultural advisory services are essential preconditions for achieving soil protection and rehabilitation at scale. They must be gender and youth sensitive, and create the necessary incentives to protect the soils.

This policy-brief was co-authored by:

Carolin Sperk, Alexander Müller, Jes Weigelt, Global Soil Forum at IASS Potsdam Global Programme on Soil Rehabilitation and Protection for Food Security and Sector Programme on Combating Desertification, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Jonathan Davis, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Ravi Prabhu, World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF)

The research project “Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security“ cooperates with the correspondent program of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and receives financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).