Soil biodiversity and soil organic carbon: keeping drylands alive

Soil biodiversity and soil organic carbon are vital to the way ecosystems function and they largely determine the role of land in producing food, storing water, and mitigating climate change. This report highlights how soil organic carbon and soil biodiversity provide the foundation for terrestrial ecosystem services. Restoring or preserving soil biodiversity and soil organic carbon requires increased inputs of organic matter or a reduction of carbon losses, or both. Government strategies are needed to guide investments in drylands by local land users, private companies and other stakeholders, in order to fulfil their public responsibility for protecting and promoting the multifunctionality of land.