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Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition • Forum FSN

Re: Online consultations for a knowledge sharing platform on resilience

Jean-Thoma Cornelis
Jean-Thoma CornelisGembloux Agro-Bio Tech, ULgBelgium


The concept of resilience is of prime importance when the magnitude of a disturbance implies that a return to the preliminary environmental state will increase the functioning of the system and its environmental functions.

In terrestrial environments, Soil is an interface between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere where the bio-physico-chemical processes occurring will strongly govern the biogeochemical cycles of elements at the global scales. Soil is by its very nature integrated in terms of components and mechanisms. In this regard, sharing knowledge about factors and processes (natural and anthropic) that will influence the evolution of soil properties in the landscape is of utmost importance to get an integrated understanding of the ecosystem functioning of the natural environments.

Soil resilience is defined as the intrinsic ability of a soil to recover from degradation and return to a new equilibrium similar to the antecedent state, to recover its functional and structural integrity (Blanco and Lal, 2010; Principles of Soil Conservation and Management). The environmental factors controlling soil resilience are the factors that control the soil-forming processes: rock, vegetation, climate, topography, time and human influence. We therefore welcome initiative sharing knowledge for an integrated understanding of soil-forming processes that control their properties and, in fine, their functions. In this regard, an initiative such as the Earth’s Critical Zone Observatories ( can augur a promising future in terms of inter-disciplinary research and knowledge sharing about how  bio-physico-chemical processes, and their interactions, affect the evolution of soil systems.