In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Symposium on Salt-affected Soils (GSAS21) “Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity” will be held in a virtual format from 20 to 22 October 2021.
This science-policy meeting is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, its Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), together with the Science Policy Interface of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (SPI-UNCCD), the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), the International Center on Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS), and the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG).
There are naturally saline or sodic soils, which harbor valuable ecosystems, and include a range of plants that are adapted to extreme conditions. However, secondary salinity and sodicity can develop or increase rapidly in response to unsustainable human activities, posing a threat to agricultural production, food security, the provision of essential ecosystem services as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Salinization and sodification of soils are among the most serious global threats to arid and semi-arid regions but also for croplands in coastal regions and in case of irrigation with wastewater in any climate.
The main objectives of the Symposium are to share knowledge on salinity prevention, management, and adaptation and to establish critical connections between science, practice, and policy by facilitating discussion among policy makers, food producers, scientists, and practitioners for sustainable management of salt-affected soils.