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International Network of Black Soils

Black Soils are characterized by a thick, dark-colored soil horizon rich in organic matter. Due to their inherent high fertility, these soils remain very sensitive to anthropogenic intervention and are prone to severe degradation. Because of their high soil organic carbon (SOC) content, they are also very sensitive and can be potential large sources of greenhouse gases. Extensively and intensively farmed, they constitute the food basket for many countries. Notwithstanding the relatively small percentage (7%) of the world’s ice-free land surface Black Soils cover, it is crucial to promote their conservation and sustainable use to maintain their functioning in order to sustain their supporting food security while protecting the environment and mitigating climate change.

Under the aegis of the GSP, the International Network of Black Soils (INBS) was established with the aim of providing a platform for knowledge sharing for countries with black soils to discuss common issues related to the conservation and sustainable management of these soils and the need to foster technical exchange and cooperation. Launched during the GSOC17 symposium in March 2017, in presence of representatives from national soil institutions from Argentina, Brazil, China, Russian Federation, and the USA, the INBS will foster collaboration among countries with Black Soils that will identify relevant research gaps to be addressed in a report on the global status, the current productivity and the challenges in black soils. The ITPS will provide the scientific advice needed while the GSP Secretariat will facilitate the implementation of agreed activities upon contribution of resource partners.

Objectives of the INBS

The establishment of this network has the following objectives:

  • To provide a platform for countries with black soils to discuss common issues related to the conservation and sustainable management of Black Soils;
  • To develop a report on the global status, current productivity and challenges in black soils;
  • To foster collaboration among these countries towards promoting the sustainable use and management of Black Soils and identify relevant research gaps;
  • To serve as a platform for knowledge sharing and technical cooperation on Black Soils management.

How does the network work?

The network is established under the framework of the Global Soil Partnership. Countries with Black Soils through their national soil institutions (i.e. Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Hungary, India, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, etc.) will be invited to join this network under clear Terms of Reference and under the guidance of a Network Chair (to be appointed following the Terms of Reference).