Scientific definition:

Sustainable soil management comprises practices that maintain or enhance the provisioning, regulation and maintenance as well as cultural services provided by soils without significantly impairing either the soil functions that enable those services or biodiversity.

FAO; ITPS (2015) Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR) – Main Report. Rome, Italy. Available at:

Political definition:

Soil management practices that maintain or enhance the ecosystem services provided by the soil without impairing the functions enabling those services, or being detrimental to other properties of the environment.

European Commission (2023) Proposal for a Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience. Available at: