Soils: Erosion is for life

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Policy Fundamentals


A deep understanding of Natural Resource Management (NRM) is crucial to the effective management of the system. Throughout the program participants will be guided by experts in the field to plan strategic policy interventions and broaden their knowledge of NRM to skilfully identify opportunities free from path dependence, ethical dimensions and manage NRM contracts and relationships.

Course overview


While water is often referred to as our most precious natural resource (and we cannot live without it and its management can always be improved), this module invites the participant to consider rather the issue of our soils. When erosion occurs, or our soils are otherwise depleted, the impact can be expected to be felt for generations; replenishment is at the geological scale. Similarly, some of Australia’s best soils are going under areas of urban expansion taking with them some of the productivity potential that may have contributed to this very expansion.


What does all of this mean for our long run productivity and food security, what are the wider drivers, and what can be done about it? This module will be a chance to explore these issues, not from a soil science perspective directly but from the lens of various value judgements we consciously and unconsciously make about this issue. These choices range for those of the individual to society as a whole. Consideration of the wider context will be a feature of the day as will contemplation of possible changes to our approach to this issue.

Learning outcomes:

  • Enhanced understanding of the national ‘soils estate’ and its vulnerabilities
  • Experience in considering a significant NRM issue at multiple temporal and spatial scales
  • Ability to identify potential solutions for this and other related issues

Updated:  26 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team