This paper explores through Schumacher's perspective on ‘the proper use of land’: the reasons for, and the means and consequences of, monitoring soil condition in managing agricultural landscapes sustainably. This particular perspective illustrates its argument with soil monitoring initiatives operating at various scales within the global agricultural context. Schumacher's land management goals are health, beauty and permanence, yet productivity is the goal most land managers focus on. The chosen indicators for soil monitoring need to reflect these goals. Hence, the indicators of choice for monitoring soil condition are attributes that can be: easily measured, improve soil productivity or protect the soil. Often attributes that have intrinsic ‘beauty’ (value), maintain ‘health’ (function) in ecosystems and are difficult to measure are ignored as soil condition indicators. The usefulness of information gained through monitoring soil condition is to make decisions that will be relevant for varied audiences and at different points in the decision-making process.
Lobry de Bruyn, L. (2009), "Reasons, means and consequences: monitoring soil condition for ‘the proper use of land", Saravanamuthu, K. and Lehman, C. (Ed.) Extending Schumacher's Concept of Total Accounting and Accountability into the 21st Century (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 261-294. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1041-7060(2009)0000014011Download as .RIS
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