Global Soil Partnership

Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils

The Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) was established at the first Plenary Assembly of the Global Soil Partnership held at FAO Headquarters in 2013.

The ITPS is composed of 27 top soil experts representing all the regions of the world. The main function of the ITPS is to provide scientific and technical advice and guidance on global soil issues to the Global Soil Partnership primarily and to specific requests submitted by global or regional institutions. The ITPS advocates for addressing sustainable soil management in the different sustainable development agendas. Watch the video                                                                                                           For more information contact [email protected]; ITPS Chair Rosa Poch

ITPS Functions and duties

The ITPS have the following functions:

1. Provide scientific and technical advice on global soil issues primarily to the GSP and in relation to specific requests submitted by global or regional institutions.

2. Advocate for the inclusion of sustainable soil management into different development agendas.

3. Review and follow up on the situation and issues related to soils in the contexts of food security, use and management of natural resources, ecosystem services provision, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and other relevant areas.

4. Follow up on the implementation of these Plans of Action with due attention to their impact and contributions to different global policies and initiatives related to sustainable development, MDGs, food security, climate change adaptation and other subject matters.

5. In exceptional cases, when complex technical matters arise, request the Plenary Assembly and the Secretariat to form technical committees aiming to gather specific advice.

The ITPS members have the following duties:

1. Provide scientific and technical advice on global soil issues to the GSP

2. Sign a “non-conflict of interest” declaration

3. Participate at the Plenary Assembly, as stipulated in the ToR of the GSP

4. Appoint a Chairperson by consensus


ITPS Panels

ITPS 2018-2021
Experts panel 2018-2021

The GSP Plenary Assembly in June 2018 endorsed the new panel of 27 experts who serve the third Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils for a three year term.

ITPS Panel 2015-2017
Experts panel 2015-2017

The GSP Plenary Assembly in June 2015 endorsed the second panel of 27 experts who served the second Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils for a two year term.

ITPS 2013-2015
Experts panel 2013-2015

The GSP Plenary Assembly in June 2013 endorsed the first panel of 27 experts who served the second Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils for a two year term.


Symposia implementation

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Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon
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Global Symposium on Soil Pollution
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Global Symposium on Soil Erosion
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Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity

ITPS Working sessions

As the top scientific panelist on soil, ITPS experts meets twice a year, generally at FAO headquarters, to make progress in reversing soil degradation and promoting healthy soils under the framework of the Global Soil Partnership.

1st working session
First working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 22 - 26 July 2013

The main outputs of this session were to review and endorse the draft Plans of Action for Pillars as well as to ensure due reflection of soils in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2nd working session
Second working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 7 - 11 April 2014

The main outputs of this session were the agreement on the way forward for the Status of the World's Soil Resources Report and the endorsement of the revised World Soil Charter.

3rd working session
Third working session
Potsdam, Germany | 13 - 17 April 2015

The main outputs of this session were the finalization and endorsement of the Status of World’s Soil Resources Report and the proposal for SDGs indicators where soils play a role.

4th working session
Fourth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 14 - 18 September 2015

The main outputs of this session were the establishment of working groups to execute implementation plans and the production of a paper on soils/climate change/food security.

5th working session
Fifth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 14 - 18 March 2016

The main outputs of this session were the finalization of the first draft of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management and the review of the ITPS work plan.

6th working session
Sixth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 20 - 24 March 2017

The main outputs of this session were the follow up on the plan for the preparation of the Status of World's Soil Resources Report 2020 and the GSP regional Implementation Plans.

7th working session
Seventh working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 30 October - 2 November 2017

The main outputs of this session were the clearance of the GSOCmap, the Global Assessment of the impact of plant protection products, and the establishment of a working group on SOC.

8th working session
Eighth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 1 - 5 May 2018

The main outputs of this session were the the follow up on the GSP Plans of Action, the symposium preparation, and the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management.

9th working session
Ninth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 10 - 12 October 2018

The main outputs of this session were the development of a study on the economic benefits of sustainable soil management for farmers and the implementation of GLOSOLAN.

10th working session
Tenth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 13 - 17 May 2019

The main outputs of this session were the progresses on the Fertilizer Code and the finalization of the technical specifications for mapping soil salinity and SOC sequestration potential.

11th working session
Eleventh working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 20 - 22 November 2019

The main outputs of this session were the discussion on the Protocol for assessing Sustainable Soil Management and on the draft Guidelines for MRV on SOC stocks and changes.

12th working session
Twelfth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 26 - 27 May 2020

The main outputs of this session were the evaluation of the progresses made by the different working groups on salinity, biodiversity, black soils, pollution, SOC and mapping.

13th working session
Thirteenth working session
FAO headquarters, Rome | 16 - 18 November 2020

The ITPS will held virtually (Zoom platform) its thirteenth working session on 16-18 November from 12:00 to 14:00 pm (CEST). This meeting will be open to ITPS members only.


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