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Revista de Ciências Agrárias

Print version ISSN 0871-018X


PINHEIRO, António C. A.. Soil economic value: private and public perspectives. Rev. de Ciências Agrárias [online]. 2015, vol.38, n.4, pp.612-620. ISSN 0871-018X.

Having in mind that the majority of human beings do not take consciousness how fundamental soil is for their survival, nor how men action can lead to soil dilapidation, this works tries to call attention for its real value. Concisely, the main objectives of this paper are: to show clearly the most relevant soil functions; to analyzehow soil management can influence positive or negatively soil capacity of production; to present a methodology for private soil assessment , making clear that privates valuate almost exclusively the soil capacity to produce market goods and services; to stress that many goods and services have global public effects; to emphasize that society ought to recognize soil multifunctionality and must try to impute some value to all those goods and services although some of them have no market value, at present. The paper concludes that: (1) without productive soil life on earth, as we know it, would be impossible; (2) although it is almost impossible to assess the real value of all goods and services produced by the soil, it is of great importance to develop appropriate methodologies to do so, in order to improve cost-benefit analysis helping to take correct decisions regarding the sustainable use of the soil.

Keywords : externalities; goods and services; market; soil; sustainability; value.

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