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Towards an integrated approach to soil conservationExperiences from several research project are summarized, especially two European Union Framework Programme (FP) Projects. These projects were SHASEA (Sustainable Highland Agriculture in South-East Asia; FP 4) and BORASSUS (FP 6). Specific project design and management lessons were gained from both projects, which can be employed by similar research projects promoting sustainable agro-environmental development in the tropics and subtropics. Both projects postulated that environmental protection and socio-economic development were complimentary, synergistic and achievable aims. These aims can largely be achieved by adopting holistic and integrated approaches to soil conservation. While soil conservation is largely an environmental engineering problem, we need to recognize that effective conservation has social, economic, educational and political dimensions. The case for an integrated environmental and socio-economic approach to soil conservation is supported by detailed case studies from Yunnan Province (China) and São Luís (Brazil).