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The multi-faced role of soil in the Near East and North Africa − Policy brief, soil salinity

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.

Near East & North Africa