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Advances in the assessment and monitoring of salinization and status of biosaline agriculture

Report of an expert consultation held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 26–29 November 2007







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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    The multi-faced role of soil in the Near East and North Africa | Policy brief, Soil salinity 2019
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    Salinization is the most severe threat to soils in the NENA region after soil erosion. Indeed, more than 11 percent of the region’s soils are affected by various levels of soil salinization Salinity has direct effects on the growth and development of plants. Sodic conditions may cause important deterioration of the soil physical properties, indirectly affecting crop growth via increased surface crusting, poor water infiltration, and reduced root zone aeration. The Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) provide recommendations on how to prevent the development of salt-affected soils. If soils are already degraded and prevention is no longer an option, excess salts can be removed from the soil surface and the root zone using a variety of techniques. Under all conditions, the sustainable management of soil resources is key in preventing and combating salinization.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS)
    Managing salt-affected soils for a sustainable future
    2023
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    The proceedings of the second meeting of the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS) contain the abstracts of the papers presented during the workshop in Tashkent (22–26 May, 2023). The papers provide the up-to-date scientific knowledge and practical solutions for four topics: (1) mapping, assessing and monitoring of salt-affected soils; (2) sustainable management of salt-affected soils: practices and policy; (3) halophyte and saline agriculture and its effect on soil health; (4) integrated soil and water management under saline/sodic conditions. Under the first topic, modern techniques (geophysics, remote sensing, NIR spectroscopy) for mapping and monitroing of salt-affected soils as wel as mapping of environmental susceptibility to soil salinization in dry regions were presented. Under the second topic, different approaches to reclaim saline and sodic soils and improve seed germination including the use of different organic and inorganic amendments, organic biostimulants, biochar and phytoremediation were discussed. Moreover, biodiversity of salt-affected soils and its change along salinity gradient as well as the impact of soil enzymes on the structure and function of soil microbial communities and how soil degradation is associated with specific soil microbiota were reported. Policy gaps on addressing soil salinity were analyzed and further steps how to integrate agenda on SAS into existing agricultural policies were proposed. The results of Participatory Rural Appraisal approach to survey among farmers were provided. Under the third topic, the results on testing different conventional and non-conventional crops in field trials on salt-affected soils irrigated by fresh and saline water were reported. The influence of soil properties on growing halophytes was considered. Under the fourth topic, the ways to optimize the use of poor-quality irrigation water in agriculture were discussed. Some studies reported about the results of modeling of salt and water transport in soils for estimation of leaching requirement or root zone soil salinity. Several studies reported about the negative aspects of using brackish water leading to secondary soil salinization and sodification. For salt-affected areas with groundwater use for irrigation, the approach combining the Food Systems Approach and integrated water resources management was proposed to address the interdependent challenges of food and water security.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Handbook for saline soil management
    Eurasian Soil Partnership implementation plan
    2018
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    This handbook has been prepared for the training workshop on innovative methods of amelioration and use of salt-affected soils, which takes place in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in September 2017. This workshop is conducted within the framework of the Implementation Plan of the Eurasian Soil Partnership, which is a sub-regional affiliation of the Global Soil Partnership. The main goals of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) and Regional Soil Partnerships (RSPs) include the development of global and regional plans of action for the sustainable management and monitoring of limited soil resources as a key element, as well as the maintenance of food security and ecological services of soils. The RSPs rely on the existing regional networks that connect the national and local networks, partners, projects and measures to ensure that the interests of all member countries of the partnership are taken into account. A RSP should give directives for the development of regional targets, priorities and ìrequred mechanisms of implementation and also undertake regular assessments of progress in reaching goals and accomplishing the tasks. The Eurasian Region covers Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus and includes the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Eurasian Region is diverse in terms of climatic conditions, soils, flora and fauna, land use and human activities. Soil degradation is a serious problem within this region, with its most destructive consequences including salinization, erosion, loss of soil organic matter, nutrients and biodiversity as well as soil compaction. Soil salinization presents a serious challenge that requires co-ordination between countries that share common water and land resources. International co-operation is also needed to attract and manage investment into water and land resources. It should be emphasized that salinization is both the cause and the result of other agricultural problems. Combating salinization should, together with other measures for achieving the sustainable intensification of agriculture, be considered as a basis for food security.

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