New system to boost Australian soil health-Xinhua

New system to boost Australian soil health

Source: Xinhua| 2022-12-01 09:54:45|Editor: huaxia

CANBERRA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Australia's national science agency has launched a new project to support healthy soils into the future.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on Thursday launched the Australian National Soil Information System (ANSIS) project.

The 15 million Australian dollar (10.1 million U.S. dollar) initiative, a collaboration between governments, industry, researchers, the private sector and communities, will improve sustainable management of Australia's diverse soils by improving accessibility of nationally consistent data.

Currently soil is collected for tests using different methods at a range of depths, making data from different sources hard to compare.

Peter Wilson, leader of ANSIS at the CSIRO, said improving access to consistent data would help protect one of Australia's most precious assets.

"Soil is vital to our agricultural production and natural environments, as well as our health and wellbeing. This information system will help us all care for this important natural resource," he said in a media release.

"Productive, healthy and resilient soil means more economic, environmental and social benefits to Australia. Monitoring soil also helps our scientific understanding about how our natural world is changing."

"This work gives us insights into biodiversity, water resources, landscapes and coastlines, fauna, climate and geology. By harmonizing Australia's soil data, we can make it accessible across many fields of science and exploration."

The project's funding comes from the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under its National Soil Strategy.

Released in May 2021, the strategy, the first of its kind in Australia, prioritizes soil health over the next 20 years.

The ANSIS will be available for use in 2023.