World Soil Resources Reports 101

BIOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT OF SOIL ECOSYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

Report of the International Technical Workshop

Organized by
EMBRAPA-Soybean and FAO

Londrina, Brazil, 24 to 27 June 2002

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Rome, 2003

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-104966-1
ISSN 0532-0488

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© FAO 2003


Contents


Summary

Acknowledgements

Acronyms

Chapter 1. Objectives and context of the Londrina workshop

Background
Soil biodiversity, agriculture, sustainable management and farmer context
Workshop process and objectives

Chapter 2. Review of knowledge and issues through case studies on soil biodiversity, ecosystem management and sustainable agricutlure

Indicators for assessment and monitoring of soil health

Case 1 - Bioindicators of soil health: their use by the sugar-cane industry in Australia
Case 2 - Participatory assessment of macrofaunal functional groups for rehabilitation and improved productivity of pastures, cropland and horticulture
Case 3 - Methods for assessment of soil health or quality focusing on a case in Bhutan

Adaptive management for enhanced soil productivity and restoration

Case 4 - Adaptive management and technology innovation in Mindanao, Philippines
Case 5 - Biodynamic agriculture for reclamation and cotton production in Egypt
Case 6 - Biofertilizers - arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Rhizobium bacteria - for mixed agriculture in Cuba
Case 7 - No-till agriculture for smallholder cropping in Brazil
Case 8 - A case of the transition of a renowned coffee growing area
Case 9 - Selection of legumes that produce beneficial plant flavonoids for various functions
Case 10 - Integrated pest management and biomass management for managing Helicoverpa armigera (pod borer) and enhanced productivity in Asia
Case 11 - Plant parasitic nematodes associated with common bean: an integrated management approach in Kenya
Case 12 - Role of termites in the soil rehabilitation process in Burkina Faso
Case 13 - Use of vermicompost with a focus on tea plantations in India
Case 14 - Use of vermicompost to reduce soil Al toxicity in Brazil
Case 15 - Conservation and sustainable use of soil biodiversity
Case 16 - Adaptive management for redeveloping traditional ecosystems

Capacity building for integrated soil biological and ecosystem management

Case 17 - Capacity building tools and methods for improving knowledge and skills in biological management of soil fertility by farming communities
Case 18 - The Global Environment Fund (GEF) - TSBF BGBD Network project on the conservation and sustainable management of below-ground biodiversity
Case 19 - The organic resources database
Case 20 - Use of farmer field schools for soil productivity improvement (FFS-SPI)
Case 21 - The African Conservation Tillage network

Research and innovation in soil biological understanding and application

Case 22 - Innovative methods for monitoring soil biological activity and pest-pathogen interactions
Case 23 - Soil biological activity and C sequestration with a focus on no-tillage systems in Brazil in Brazil
Case 24 - CGIAR Challenge Programme on Biological Nitrogen Fixation (CP-BNF)
Case 25 - Soil and water conservation research in Burkina Faso

Chapter 3. Workshop discussions and findings on improving understanding and management of soil biodiversity and ecosystems for productive and sustainable agriculture

Soil biodiversity understanding, status and trends

Biological indicators of soil health
Development of an assessment and monitoring framework
Development of target values and thresholds

Development and adaptation of productive and sustainable agricultural management practices

Integrated ecosystem and adaptive management approaches for soil health

Sharing experiences and lessons learned and identification of gaps and priorities

Sustainable production systems
Organic matter management and the soil ecosystem
The cropping system and the soil ecosystem

Soil resilience and risk alleviation

Chapter 4. Strategy and actions for implementing the Soil Biodiversity Initiative

Guiding principles and objectives
Strategic framework on soil biodiversity and agro-ecosystem management

Increasing recognition of the essential services of soil biodiversity across all production systems and its relation to land management
Capacity building to promote the adoption of integrated approaches and coordinated activities for the sustainable use of soil biodiversity and the enhancement of agro-ecosystem functions
Partnership development and cooperation
Operational mechanisms

Framework for action as a basis for the further development of the Soil Biodiversity Initiative

Objective 1 - Sharing of knowledge and information and awareness raising
Objective 2 - Capacity building for the development and transfer of knowledge of soil biodiversity and ecosystem management into farmers’ practices
Objective 3 - Strengthening collaboration among actors and institutions and mainstreaming soil biodiversity and biological management into agricultural and land management and rehabilitation programmes

References

Annexes

Annex 1. Workshop agenda
Annex 2. Workshop participants and contact details
Annex 3. Working group composition and guiding questions
Annex 4. Matrix of case studies on soil biodiversity and ecosystem management
Annex 5. Ongoing activities and potential collaborative actions
Annex 6. Indicative outline for case studies on agricultural biological diversity and checklist for their analysis
Annex 7. The ecosystem approach and adaptive management


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