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Global Soil Partnership

Terms of Reference

Recognizing i) the critical role of soils for food security and ecosystem services, ii) on the basis of the recommendation made by the FAO High-Level External Committee (HLEC) on the Millennium Development Goals (Rome, 13‑14 October 2009) to the Director-General and iii) through conclusions reached at the 22 Session of the FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG, Rome 16‑19 June 2010), FAO was requested to establish a Global Soil Partnership. After preparatory and participatory work by FAO, a meeting was convened in Rome from 7 to 9 September 2011 to present to FAO Members and key stakeholders a proposal for the establishment of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) and to obtain reactions and recommendations on the way forward.

The meeting fully endorsed the importance and timeliness of the partnership and agreed to:

  1. establish a Technical Working Group, composed of soil scientists from a large number of national and international institutions, to prepare a Zero draft version of the Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the Global Soil Partnership;
  2. organize the review of a draft version of the ToRs by an Open‑Ended Working Group composed of Permanent Representatives to FAO.

A Technical Working Group (composed of 76 voluntary members worldwide) was established and worked for four months to prepare a draft of the ToRs for the establishment of the GSP.

At the 145 FAO Council country members of FAO analyzed the Terms of Reference and concluded “The Council approved the Terms of Reference of the Global Soil Partnership and recommended the implementation of the initiative”.