Throughout the epochs, civilisations that have failed to secure their soil have fallen by the wayside of history. With globalisation, securing soil is crucial for the whole of humanity’s future wellbeing.

The 2012 Agriculture and Environment Research Symposium – jointly hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment and the Dow Sustainability Program at the United States Studies Centre – brought together experts from across the globe to discuss the different dimensions and approaches that must be considered in the development and establishment of international research and policy agreements on Soil Security.

Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist of Australia, and Professor Marie Bashir, Chancellor of the University of Sydney, opened the 2012 Agriculture and Research Symposium. The Symposium investigated the Political, Economic, Social and Scientific dimensions with a line-up of local experts and a cross-section of international speakers including:

  • Professor Edward B Barbier - John S Bugas Professor of Economics, University of Wyoming, USA
  • Professor Johan Bouma - Emeritus Professor of Soil Science, Wageningen University, Netherlands
  • Professor Cornelia Flora - Charles F. Curtis Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Sociology, Iowa State University, USA
  • Professor Rattan Lal - Distinguished Professor, School of Environment & Natural Resources, Ohio State University, USA

Hosted by Professor Mark Adams, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment and Professor Robert Hill, Adjunct Professor in Sustainability from the United States Studies Centre, the 2012 Research Symposium proved relevant to scientists, economists, industry, government and business.

A coherent Soil Security strategy will maintain and improve the world’s soil resources to ensure continuity of quality food, fibre and fresh water, making major contributions to energy and climate sustainability and maintaining biodiversity and the overall protection of ecosystem goods and services.