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Global Soil Partnership

Pillar 4: Enhance the quantity and quality of soil data and information: data collection (generation), analysis, validation, reporting, monitoring and integration with other disciplines

Group photo of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions (INSII)

Pillar Four of the GSP essentially addresses the development of an enduring and authoritative global system to monitor and forecast the condition of the Earth’s soil resources.

This global soil information system has three primary functions:

  1. Answering critical questions at the global scale (e.g. is there enough arable land with suitable soil to feed the world?)
  2. Providing the global context for more local decisions (e.g. transnational aspects of food security and degradation of natural resources)
  3. Supplying fundamental soil data for understanding Earth-system processes to enable management of the major natural resource issues facing the world (e.g. climate change, food security, biodiversity loss). These data need to be comparable with other fundamental data sets including those for weather, climate, net primary productivity, biodiversity, land cover and geology.

The network of International Soil Information Institutions (INSII) forms the backbone of Pillar 4 and is supported by a technical working group of soil information experts (Pillar 4 Working Group). Among other tasks, this working group elaborates additional guidance for developing soil data products, which build on existing and new national and other local soil information, and for which extracts of such data fit the product scheme of the global soil information system. A Global Soils Spatial Data Infrastructure Centre (GSSDIC) will serve important elements of the spatial data infrastructure, together with FAO via SoilSTAT. The implementation plan contains the Terms of Reference (ToR) for each governance element.

Composition of the Pillar 4 Working Group

Chair : Mr. Yusuf Yigini

Secretary: Mr. Ronald Vargas

  Africa: Christian Omuto (Kenya)


  Asia: Mr. Toshiaki Ohkura


  Europe:  Mr. Edoardo Costantini / Eurasia: Ms Laziza Gafurova 

  Central America, Caribbean and Mexico: Renato Jimenez Zúñiga  

South America: Mr. Guillermo Federico Olmedo


  Near East and North Africa: Mr. Rachid Moussadek

  North America: Mr. Bert VandenBygaart

 South West Pacific: Mr. Mike Grundy


Other members : Mr. Yusuf Yigini (Chair Pillar 4), Mr. Rainer Baritz (Chair Pillar 5), Mr. Rik van den Bosch (SDF)