In the framework of the International Conference “Eurasian Food Security and Nutrition Network”, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Eurasian Centre for Food Security (ECFS), and the World Bank, in close collaboration with the European Commission, have successfully launched the Eurasian chapter of the Global Soil Partnership on November 20 2013 in Moscow, Russia. The Eurasian Center for Food Security, established by the Government of the Russian Federation as a concrete follow-up to the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative for catalyzing agricultural development in the region, will act as the Secretariat of the Eurasian Sub-regional Soil Partnership.
The launch workshop was opened by Ronald Vargas, Global Soil Partnership Secretariat (hosted by FAO at its Headquarters in Rome), who highlighted the importance of this major international initiative ‘for improving global governance of the limited soil resources of the planet in order to guarantee healthy and productive soils for a food secure world, as well as sustain other essential ecosystem services’. The Eurasia Sub-regional Soil Partnership will provide a mechanism for implementing the Global Plans of Action in the region in close consultation with Member countries and partners.
The launch workshop is the first step to support the development of a dynamic community of practice of soil specialists and practitioners and work jointly towards an action plan for sustainable soil management and the reversal of alarming soil degradation trends in Eurasia.
Some 30 delegates, particularly from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, participated in the event. Delegates included representatives of governments, international and regional organizations as well as academic and research institutions.
The launch workshop provided an opportunity for participating countries to build on best available soil science, and facilitated the exchange of knowledge among stakeholders for identifying key soil related issues (e.g. soil salinity monitoring and control) to be addressed as a priority at all levels in Eurasia.
As expressed by Sergey Kiselev, Director of ECFS, the establishment of the Eurasian Sub-regional Soil Partnership will further strengthen the existing cooperation programme between the Russian Federation and FAO, with the generation of new momentum for concrete actions on sustainable soil management with sustainable impacts on food security and nutrition in the region.
The Eurasian Sub-regional Soil Partnership is part of the European Soil Partnership and its next meeting will be held in May 2014.
For more information on the Eurasian Sub-regional Soil Partnership, please contact Mr. Ronald Vargas (Ronald.Vargas@fao.org), Global Soil Partnership Secretariat, Ms. Ines Beernaerts (Ines.Beernaerts@fao.org), Land and Water Resources officer, FAO Sub-Regional for Central Asia, or Mr. Pavel Krasilnikov (email@example.com), Eurasian Centre for Food Security.
20 November 2013, Moscow, Russian Federation