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Global Soil Partnership

Mandate and Rules of procedure

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COMPOSITION AND GOVERNANCE (Click above for more details)

Partners

The Global Soil Partnership is striving to become an interactive, responsive and voluntary partnership, open to governments, regional organizations, institutions and other stakeholders at various levels. It includes two types of partnerhsip:

  • GSP partners which come from a wide range of institutions such as Governmental Organizations, universities, civil institutions, research centers, soil science societies, UN agencies, NGOs, private companies, farmer associations, donors, etc.
  • GSP national focal points designed by FAO members countries (partners by default to the GSP).

Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS)

The Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) provides scientific and technical advice on global soil issues. Members of the ITPS are nominated by the GSP Plenary Assembly for an initial term of 2 years, renewable for one additional term (with agreement of the GSP Plenary Assembly). These experts act in their personal capacity, not receive instructions from any government or institution, and provide the best possible scientific and technical knowledge available. The ITPS advise the GSP and FAO itself as well provide an authoritative technical voice on global soil issues.  

Secretariat

The Global Soil Partnership Secretariat is the coordination and facilitation body in charge of facilitating the implementation of the GSP actions through its regional partnerships and networks. The GSP is hosted by FAO in view of its global mandate. 

Regional Soil Partnerships

Regional Soil Partnerships are formed among interested and active stakeholders in the regions. These RPSs work in close coordination with FAO Regional Offices and establish an interactive consultative process with national soils entities and relevant regional institutions.  

Plenary Assembly

The Global Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly is the main yearly meeting of ITPS members, GSP Executive Secretariat, representatives of the different partners and members to FAO. This assembly is in charge of reviewing and prioritizing GSP actions, and facilitating a balanced regional decision making process.

Terms of reference

Soil is a finite natural resource. On a human time-scale it is non-renewable. However, despite the essential role that soil plays in the life of people, there is increasing degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate practices, burgeoning population pressures and inadequate governance over this essential resource.

Soils, the foundation of agricultural development and ecological sustainability, provide the basis for food, feed, fuel and fiber production, clean water availability, nutrient cycling, organic carbon stocks, one quarter of global biodiversity, and serve as a platform for construction and construction material. However, soil quality varies with site conditions and management practices.

Soils are often perceived  as a second-tier priority and no international governance body  to support coordinated global action on their management exists. A unified and authoritative voice for soil management is needed  to better coordinate efforts and pool limited resources.