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Global Soil Partnership

Global Soil Information System (GLOSIS)


The activities of Pillar 4, as outlined by the implementation plan, are directed towards establishing a Global Soil Information System (GLOSIS). It will be based on soil data sets provided by national and international soil information institutions according to product specifications. The Arrangement for the establishment of GLOSIS confirms the agreement of all GSP partners to work jointly on the establishment of the GLOSIS and its associated products. The data sharing principles between the partners are defined by the GSP Data Policy, which highlights the preservation of intellectual property of the original data providers.

The concept of GLOSIS is built on the country-driven approach, which implies that the improvement of soil information on the global level comes from the improvement on the local level, through the support of the cooperation between national soil information institutions (INSII). Therefore, GLOSIS will use soil data primarily from Country Soil Information Systems through a collaborative network and the distributed design. 

The main components of GLOSIS include:

  • Monitoring, forecasting and status reporting (SoilSTAT)
  • Soil profile and point data
  • Global soil polygon coverage
  • Global grids of soil properties
  • Capacity development programme on soil information

The first product of the GLOSIS and a proof of concept of the distributed approach is the Global Soil Organic Carbon Map (GSOCmap) which was jointly developed by the countries within the GLOSIS framework. The process of implementing GLOSIS components, as demonstrated by the GSOCmap, includes the following steps:

  1. Development of specifications and guidelines for the data products and national soil information systems;
  2. Capacity development programs to support the countries in implementing the agreed specifications;
  3. Collecting and harmonizing the data provided by the countries;
  4. Providing global online access to the developed products through the GSP portal;

The core principle of GLOSIS is the inclusive approach, which aims at engaging all GSP partners in the building process for improving soil information quality and accessibility on global, regional, national and local levels.

The GSOCmap

Monitoring the soil condition, identifying degraded areas, setting restoration targets, exploring SOC sequestration potentials, and making evidence based decisions to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

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