Initiative and Discussion Paper

betterSoil for a better world is an initiative on making soils better by building up humus and closing the carbon and nitrogen cycle. The discussion paper “Improving soil quality for climate resilience, climate protection, and sustainable food production” is the core of this initiative.


What we want to achieve and Who we address

The objective of the initiative and the discussion paper is to promote humus-building practices for sustainable agriculture not only in practice but also in politics and to mobilize resources and funding for the implementation of these practices. In addition, the discussion paper aims to reach the European Parliament and thus have a global impact by mobilizing the EU. Therefore, the paper has already been translated into seven languages. More languages are planned. We create awareness for better soils, get active, and encourage you to do the same. Our discussion paper addresses anyone and everyone, but especially practitioners, farmers, and individuals from agriculture, politics, research, and academia as well as the private sector. We are targeting potential supporters to encourage soil quality improvement, close carbon and nitrogen cycles, and promote a humus economy.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC: Climate Change: Mitigation of Climate Change, 8, 2014.  Available under:

Wageningen University and Research Centre: Agriculture is the direct driver for worldwide deforestation. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2012. Available under:

World Bank: Water in Agriculture, 2020.Available under

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Water Land and Ecosystems research program: Water pollution from agriculture: a global review, 2017. Available under :

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): Soils help to combat and adapt to climate change, 2015.

Desertification in the EU (European court of Auditors), 2018. Available under:

euronews: What will be the new face of European agriculture in the coming years? Copernicus Europe's eyes on Earth, 2020. Available under:

The Award of the German Environment Prize 2019. Interview with Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner. Available on:

Lal, R., Smith, P., Jungkunst, H. F., Mitsch, W. J., Lehmann, J., Nair, P. R., ... & Skorupa, A. L. The carbon sequestration potential of terrestrial ecosystems. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 73(6), 145A-152A, 2018. Available under:

Dunst, G.: Humusaufbau: Chance für Landwirtschaft und Klima. Verein Ökoregion Kaindorf, 2015. Bestellbar unter:

Jones, C. E.: Liquid carbon pathway unrecognised. Australian Farm Journal, 8(5), 15-17.5, 2008. Available under:

Luske, B., & van der Kamp, J.: Carbon sequestration potential of reclaimed desert soils in Egypt, 2009.

Johnson, D., Ellington, J., & Eaton, W.: Development of soil microbial communities for promoting sustainability in agriculture and a global carbon fix (No. e789v1). PeerJ PrePrints, 2015. Available under:

Lal, R., Negassa, W., & Lorenz, K. Carbon sequestration in soil. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 15, 79-86, 2015. Available under:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, 2019. Available under:

Alvaredo, F., Chancel, L., Piketty, T., Saez, E., & Zucman, G. (Eds.). World inequality report 2018. Belknap Press, 2018.