Why soil is important

Soil is essential to life and is the earth’s living skin. It is linked to everything around us and performs many important functions that make it a critical resource for life. For example, soil:

  • acts as a water filter
  • provides essential nutrients to grow food, fibre and fuel
  • provides habitat for billions of organisms
  • is the foundation for our towns and cities
  • helps to regulate the Earth’s temperature as well as many of the important greenhouse gases.

Soil information is essential for:

  • understanding ecosystems and landscapes
  • effective land use and management decisions
  • responding to global challenges including climate change, land degradation and ensuring food security.

Information needs to be accurate, consistent, and generated for a broad range of people, including government staff, natural resource managers, educators, planners, researchers and agriculturalists to use.