For comprehensive soil management

For comprehensive soil management

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By Rodrigo Arce Rojas

Bearing in mind that modern agriculture is one of the major sources of pollution that causes global warming and that agribusiness uses ten calories of energy from fossil fuels to produce one calorie of food (Gore, 2010), it is important that we can define specific policies on the integral management of the land as well as making the responsibility of its management more visible. It is plausible that agro-exports contribute to the economic growth of the country but its ecological profitability should be reviewed to say that we are effectively doing good business for everyone, for investors, the country and the environment.

CEPLAN (2010) mentions that the country faces severe problems of deterioration of agricultural soils: on the coast due to salinization, in the highlands due to erosion and in the jungle due to deforestation.

Between 20 to 23% of annual CO2 emissions globally originate from the destruction and burning of forests (Gore, 2010). At the national level, this figure would double. The Desertification Map of Peru presented by INRENA in 2006 showed that the desertified areas in Peru were 3,862,786 ha and that 30,522,010 ha were in the process of desertification. Likewise, it is mentioned that for 1985 the surface of degraded areas was 43,057,038 ha. (MINAM et al., 2009).

MINAG (2008) considers that the agricultural area presents a high fragmentation of the land, which is expressed in the small size of the agricultural units, which in turn comprise dispersed plots (situation aggravated by the national topography), which constitute a great obstacle to the profitability of agriculture, where 84% of the agricultural units were smaller than 10 ha and occupied around 50% of the total area. MINAG considers that this reduced extension of the plots creates obstacles for the development of modern agriculture.

It is worrying that with these data there is no specific policy and institutional framework for comprehensive soil management. If the policies are reviewed, it is found that mostly the treatment of soils is done indirectly through the promotion of forest management, watershed management and Ecological and Economic Zoning (ZEE) and Territorial Planning (OT) . This could be understood as such to the extent that there is an integrated public management but that in practice it does not exist. Hence the need to move towards the implementation of environmental management and forest management systems. In addition, it is required that the watershed management carried out in the country is not reduced to water, which, being fundamental, is not the only component to be managed.

Let's analyze the political and regulatory framework in this regard. With regard to policy guidelines on soils, the National Environmental Policy (MINAM, 2009) considers: i) to promote the characterization, evaluation and registration of soils and lands at the national level, ii) to strengthen traditional knowledge and technologies compatible with management sustainable development of soils and water and iii) promote actions to prevent processes of desertification, degradation and loss of soils, mitigating their effects and / or recovering them.

In the Strategic Axis 6 of Natural Resources and Environment of the Peru 2021 Plan, there is no specific item of soil treatment and it is only included in section 6.6 "other strategic resources" in which it is mentioned that Peru has a low availability of arable land per capita (CEPLAN, 2010).

The Multisectoral Technical Commission (2003) considered among the general guidelines of agrarian policy the conservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources, promoting: a) the efficient use of irrigation water, as well as its conservation and preservation to avoid deterioration and the loss of soils due to erosion and salinization and b) land use planning through integrated watershed management and the recovery of degraded environments.

Organic Law for the sustainable use of Natural resources (Law No. 26821) considers the soil, subsoil and land as natural resources due to their greater use capacity: agricultural, livestock, forestry and protection. Natural resources are considered to be any component of nature, capable of being used by human beings to satisfy their needs and that have a current or potential value in the market.

The policy guidelines for land use planning (MINAM, 2010) have as a strategic orientation the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources, the conservation of biological diversity and the ecological processes that sustain it. In guideline 5.2 Promote the recovery of deteriorated ecosystems and the protection of fragile and relict areas, the following activities are considered: i) Promote reforestation programs for protection purposes in deteriorated areas, ii) implement a satellite monitoring and control system to the maintenance and recovery of ecosystems. These good intentions have collided with the reality of the political and economic interests that limit the effectiveness of compliance with the Ecological and Economic Zoning and the Territorial Ordering.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) through D.S. 017- 2009-AG of September 02, 2009 approves the Land Classification Regulations for their Greater Use Capacity seeks to promote and disseminate the continued rational use of the soil resource in order to achieve optimal social and economic benefits. Likewise, it seeks to avoid the degradation of soils as a natural means of bioproduction and food source, in addition to not compromising the stability of the hydrographic basins and the availability of resources. However, this rule has been questioned for having an extremely agrarian vision and for leaving the possibility of changing the use of land.

In the same direction, the Law for the Promotion of Private Investment in Reforestation and Agroforestry (Law No. 28852) considers awards for reforestation and agroforestry with private investment commitments. The norm mentions that reforestation and agroforestry activities are crops located on lands without forest cover, with the capacity for greater forest use, whether privately owned or awarded in concession by the State, they constitute forestry agribusiness and are governed by Law No. General Environmental Law and its Regulatory norms and this Law. Under these considerations, the norm indicates that the State may award in concession through public auction, forest lands without forest cover and / or wastelands of its domain. The concession right will be granted for a period of 60 years, with an investment commitment, a legal act that will be inscribable in the Public Registries. Its repeal has been requested in the proposed Forestry and Wildlife Law (Law Project 4141).

Ministerial Resolution No. 0443-2010-AG of June 23, 2010 determines that it corresponds to the Regional Governments of the departments with scope in La Selva, to develop the procedures for the change of use of lands of agricultural aptitude of Selva, to which it refers Article 26 of Law No. 27308 - Forestry and Wildlife Law, once the process of making the transfer of function “q” of article 51 of Law No. 27867 - Organic Law of Regional Governments is concluded.

Let us now review the institutional framework around land resources. The Ministry of Agriculture, through its competent body, is in charge of classifying lands according to their Greater Use Capacity at the national level in accordance with the Ministry of the Environment, the authority in charge of promoting the conservation and use of natural resources, including the I usually. The General Directorate of Agricultural Environmental Affairs is in charge of executing the objectives and provisions of the National Environmental Management System, within the scope of its competence. The General Directorate of Environmental Affairs has the following organizational units: The Directorate of Agricultural Environmental Management and the Directorate of Natural Resources Assessment (MINAG, 2010)

The National Water Authority is the body in charge of carrying out the necessary actions for the multisectoral and sustainable use of water resources by hydrographic basins, within the framework of the integrated management of natural resources and the management of national environmental quality, establishing alliances strategies with regional and local governments and the group of social and economic actors involved. Its main functions are to formulate the national water resources policy and strategy, administer and formalize water use rights, distribute it equitably, control its quality, and facilitate conflict resolution. The entity regulates the actions of the Executive Branch entities and private actors in the integrated and multisectoral management of water resources, establishing the country's hydrographic basins and aquifers as a management unit (ANA, 2010).

The problem, as we have already pointed out, is that watershed management favors the water component and is not properly interrelated with other biophysical resources, including soils and the socioeconomic and cultural dimensions that an integrated management of the territory implies. It is important to mention that the National Strategy for Biological Diversity develops an ecosystem approach as a transversal axis to the process of environmental regulation and watershed management and / or economic ecological zoning, for the conservation and sustainable use of Biological Diversity (CONAM, 2001). This approach has been included in the proposed Forestry and Wildlife Law.

It is understood that the integrated management of water resources is a process that promotes, in the scope of the hydrographic basin, the management and coordinated development of the use and multisectoral exploitation of water with the natural resources linked to it, aimed at achieving the well-being of the Nation without compromising the sustainability of ecosystems (Multisectoral Technical Commission, 2009).

Bill 4141: General Forestry and Wildlife Law

Prohibition of Change of current use of lands of capacity of greater forest use and protection.

In lands with a capacity for greater forest use and protection, according to the Regulation of Classification of Lands for their Capacity for Greater Use, with or without vegetation cover, the change of current use to agricultural purposes is prohibited.

The granting of property titles, certificates or certificates of possession in lands with capacity for greater forest use or protection with or without forest cover, as well as any type of recognition or installation of public infrastructure of services, under the responsibility of the officials is prohibited. involved. This does not prevent the granting of real rights through assignment contracts in use, subject to environmental sustainability requirements, as stated in this Law and as required by the regulations of this Law.

Use of lands of greater use capacity for clean cultivation or permanent crops with current forest cover.

In the event that there is forest cover on lands technically classified as having a higher use capacity for clean cultivation or permanent crops, according to the Land Classification Regulations for their Greater Use Capacity; SERFOR may authorize its change in current land use for agricultural purposes, respecting the ecological-economic zoning approved by the corresponding regional government and / or local government and prior binding opinion of MINAM, according to the administrative procedure approved by both authorities for such end.

Once the current use change has been approved, the removal of the forest cover will proceed as established in the article referring to deforestation.

In jungle areas, microzoning and the use of agroforestry and forestry systems are encouraged, as a means of protecting the soil from erosion and degradation processes. Additionally, in areas larger than 10 ha, a technical file is required, previously approved by SERFOR. In all cases, a minimum of 30% (thirty percent) of its forest mass must be reserved and the riparian or protective vegetation maintained.

Bearing in mind that modern agriculture is one of the major sources of pollution that causes global warming and that agribusiness uses ten calories of energy from fossil fuels to produce one calorie of food (Gore, 2010), it is important that we can define specific policies on the integral management of the land as well as making the responsibility of its management more visible. It is plausible that agro-exports contribute to the economic growth of the country but its ecological profitability should be reviewed to say that we are effectively doing good business for everyone, for investors, the country and the environment.

The growing demand for Amazonian lands for agro-industrial production of food and biofuels and the policies of greater investment in hydrocarbons and mining are pressing to favor the incorporation of community territories to the land market and the change of use of forests. A transparent balance in terms of ecological balances is important to move towards sustainable development.

In addition to the need to genuinely apply sustainable management of watersheds and forests, sustainable soil management, which includes soil carbon management, is added. It is time for ecosystem management approaches to shift from guiding principles to effective practices of responsible public and private management.

Rodrigo Arce Rojas - Forest Engineer - Peru

Literature cited:

National Water Authority. 2010. What is the National Water Authority ?. Available at: Accessed August 1, 2010.

Multisectoral Technical Commission. 2009. National water resources policy and strategy of Peru. Editor: National Water Authority Lima, 85 p.

Multisectoral Technical Commission (Ministries of Agriculture, Housing and Construction, Economy and Finance, National Board of Users). 2003. National irrigation policy and strategy in Peru (State agrarian policy for the next 10 years). Approved on June 10 by RM 0498-2003-AG. Lima 14 P.

CEPLAN. Peru 2021 Plan. Strategic National Development Plan. Project for discussion. Lima, 208 p.

WITH AM. 2001. Peru: National Strategy on Biological Diversity. Lima, 140 p

Gore, Al. Our pick. A plan to solve the climate crisis. Editorial Gedisa. Ocean. Barcelona, ​​414 p.

MINAM / INEI / UNEP. Peru 2008. Indicators. Latin American and Caribbean Initiative for Sustainable Development. Monitoring Indicators. Lima, 88 p.

MINAM. National Environmental Policy. Lima, 44 p.

MINAG, 2010. The General Directorate of Agricultural Environmental Affairs. Available at:…). Accessed August 1, 2010

MINAG. 2008. Multiannual Sectoral Strategic Plan for Agriculture 2007-2011 Lima, 74 p.

Video: Soil Management for High Tunnels (June 2022).


  1. Akeno

    the Definitive answer, it is worth knowing ...

  2. Mylnburne

    And what in this case?

  3. JoJobei

    Bravo, what phrase..., an excellent idea

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