16 Oct 2014

NZ joins Pacific plan to look after soil

8:10 am on 16 October 2014

New Zealand is part of a new Pacific Soil Partnership which will join the battle to protect the planet's soil resources.

The partnership includes Australia, Fiji and other and Pacific Island nations, and is part of a wider United Nations initiative.

The director of the National Land Resource Centre, Alison Collins of Landcare Research, says the degradation of soil resources and their quality is a worldwide issue.

"Either through inaapropriate management, but also things such as urban exapnsion and putting a lot of our precious soil under tarseal - so that it can't perform the key functions which we depend upon it for," she says.

"There are issues around soil literacy, so people are becoming very disconnected from the soil and we're not aware of the critical functions that it performs so we need to address that.

"The need for greater information around the quality of that resource and also capacity building so that when we're trying to look after the soil we're using appropriate techniques and tools," Dr Collins says.