We are all, from the president to a newborn child, dependent upon dirt. Soil is the stuff of life and without plentiful and healthy soil civilizations fall, people starve and unfortunately, more often than not, wars break out. It is critical then to monitor and understand the state of soil health in any place and work to preserve and rehabilitate areas under threat.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture has begun an ambitious project to map the soil of Africa using the best in new technology. Their new site AfricaSoils.net will be a clearing house for information about the state of African soils. The information there may seem technical, but it is worth a look--the future of Africa (and all of us) depends on this kind of information.