Global Soil Partnership

Global Soil Laboratory Network 

Soils: if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it

The Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) was established in 2017 to build and strengthen the capacity of laboratories in soil analysis and to respond to the need for harmonizing soil analytical data. Harmonization of methods, units, data and information is critical to (1) provide reliable and comparable information between countries and projects; (2) allow the generation of new harmonized soil data sets; and (3) support evidence-based decision making for sustainable soil management.

The work of GLOSOLAN supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the mandate of FAO on food security and nutrition. For more information contact [email protected]

GLOSOLAN FAQs

What are GLOSOLAN main areas of work?

What are GLOSOLAN main areas of work?

GLOSOLAN is working to improve the proficiency of soil laboratories in both wet and dry chemistry (spectroscopy) by:

WET CHEMISTRY:

DRY CHEMISTRY (spectroscopy):

  • Build a globally representative calibrated soil spectral library (database) based on MIR spectra with accompanying soil property reference data recorded in one gold-standard reference laboratory;
  • Provide a freely available and easy-to-use soil property estimation service based on the evolving GLOSOLAN global MIR spectral library;
  • Support countries to contribute to the GLOSOLAN global spectral calibration library and use the soil property estimation service;
  • Harmonize soil spectroscopy methods (including soil sample preparation, spectral measurement and quality assurance of data analysis) by developing standard and protocols;
  • Develop the capacity of countries and labs in the performance of lab-based soil spectroscopy measurements.

GLOSOLAN was lately asked to look also after Fertilizers quality assessment. Through the establishment of the International Network on Fertilizers Analysis (INFA), GLOSOLAN is expected to:

  • Develop global and when appropriate regionally harmonized methods on fertilizers quality assessment;
  • Organize global proficiency tests on fertilizers;
  • Establish regional centers for training and doing the assessment of fertilizers quality;
  • Developing the capacity of laboratories in fertilizers quality assessment through training and equipment purchasing as appropriate.

Please consult the menu on the left to access the content of each thematic area of work.

How does GLOSOLAN work?

How does GLOSOLAN work?

GLOSOLAN is a participative network in which member laboratories and experts in soil analysis share their information and experiences at the purpose of developing harmonized standards and training material that are published on the GLOSOLAN webpage for free.

Each member of GLOSOLAN matters! GLOSOLAN decisions are made using a bottom-up approach. Every year, laboratories from a same region are given the opportunity to discuss about their priorities and needs, and their position on topics to be discussed at the annual GLOSOLAN meetings. In this regard, countries are organized into Regional Soil Laboratory Networks (RESOLANs), the skeleton of GLOSOLAN. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the each RESOLAN Chair and vice-Chair to report about the position of his/her RESOLAN and make sure that regional requests are well included in the annual GLOSOLAN work plan.

In addition to the regional networks, GLOSOLAN is promoting the establishment of National Soil Laboratory Networks. Due to the lack of financial resources, the Global Soil Partnership of FAO is able to financially support the participation of only one person per country to the RESOLAN meetings. In this regard, it is important that laboratories organize themselves into national network. The establishment of National Soil Laboratory Networks is important for several reasons:

1. It promotes harmonization processes in soil analysis at the national level.

2. It facilitates the transfer of the knowledge acquired by laboratories participating in GLOSOLAN activities at the national level. Indeed, laboratories benefitting from GLOSOLAN training should transfer the acquired knowledge to other laboratories in their country. This process is critical also for overcoming language and cultural barriers.

Please consult the menu on the left to learn more on the Regional and National Soil Laboratory Networks.

What are the differences between National Reference and other registered soil laboratories?

What are the differences between National Reference and other registered soil laboratories?

In GLOSOLAN all registered laboratories have equal rights and opportunities!

Nevertheless, the Global Soil Partnership was forced to ask its national focal points to identify one champion laboratory (National Reference Soil Laboratory) that could lead the implementation of GLOSOLAN activities at the national level and transfer the knowledge acquired in GLOSOLAN to other laboratories. This request was due to the fact that GLOSOLAN works on a limited budget that cannot satisfy the requests for financial support of all registered laboratories.

Ultimately, priority is given to the National Reference Soil Laboratories in case of:

  • Shortage of soil samples for the execution of GLOSOLAN inter-laboratory comparisons;
  • Shortage of budget to cover participation costs to RESOLAN and/or GLOSOLAN meetings. Please note that financial support is provided as per FAO rules and procedures. In this regard, FAO can financially support participants from developing countries only.

Learn more about the Terms of Reference of National Reference Soil Laboratories and other laboratories registered in GLOSOLAN here. The performance of National Reference Soil Laboratories is monitored on an annual basis. GLOSOLAN will request national focal points for the replacement of any National Reference Soil Laboratory that does not comply with its role and tasks.

Why shall I register my laboratory in GLOSOLAN?

Why shall I register my laboratory in GLOSOLAN?

By registering your laboratory in GLOSOLAN you will have the opportunity to:

  • Connect with other laboratories in your country, region or in the world;
  • Participate in the GLOSOLAN proficiency tests;
  • Get trained on topics like internal and external quality control, health and safety, standard operating procedures, spectroscopy, use and maintenance of equipment and much more;
  • Be promptly notified on GLOSOLAN and regional events as well as on the publication of new documents and training material.

How can I register my laboratory in GLOSOLAN?

How can I register my laboratory in GLOSOLAN?

Fill out the form and send it to [email protected] and to [email protected]. Once your application is processed, your laboratory will be shown on the interactive map. At the moment of their registration in GLOSOLAN, all laboratories receive a letter and a certificate of registration. Please note these documents DO NOT certify the proficiency of laboratories in soil analysis. Therefore, they cannot be used to state that a laboratory is certified under GLOSOLAN or has a good proficiency in soil analysis. The performance of National Reference Soil Laboratories is monitored on an annual basis. GLOSOLAN will request national focal points for the replacement of any National Reference Soil Laboratory that does not comply with its role and tasks.

What laboratories are registered in GLOSOLAN?

All laboratories registered in GLOSOLAN are shown on the interactive map.

Why is it important to invest in soil laboratories?

Why is it important to invest in soil laboratories?

Investing in more efficient labs and harmonized data has national, regional and global implications. GLOSOLAN is an efficient and effective way to:

  • Provide reliable evidence to support better decision-making at both field and policy levels;
  • Support countries in reporting on progress made towards the SDGs;
  • Contribute to the development of international standards and indicators;
  • Contribute to the assessment, monitoring and sustainable management of soil and provide quality data to support the establishment of National Soil Information Systems that can feed into the Global Soil Information System (GLOSIS);
  • Assist companies manufacturing laboratory equipment in improving their products;
  • Identify research gaps and increase investments in research.

Who are GLOSOLAN's trainers and advisors?

Who are GLOSOLAN's trainers and advisors?

GLOSOLAN is constantly looking for highly qualified experts to involve in its activities as trainers and/or advisors. We are doing our best to keep our team as multicultural as possible in order to overcome language and cultural barriers and provide laboratories in need with as much support as possible. All our trainers and advisors work on a voluntary basis and their competency was tested.

Visit the Trainers and advisors webpage to learn more about them and get the help you need!

Feeling like joining the team? Send an email to [email protected] and to [email protected].

Can you tell me more about GLOSOLAN training system?

Can you tell me more about GLOSOLAN training system?

GLOSOLAN is organizing regular training opportunities to enhance laboratories’ technical and human capabilities. Training is organized appealing to a collaborative system in which volunteering laboratories and countries are given support to host and co-finance the trainings. Co-financing is seen as an asset to ensure the sustainability of the network, increase the attention and support of national governments on soil, and to advertise country specific strengths in soil laboratory analysis. Advanced laboratories and countries are especially invited to give their contribution, stretching their hand towards those in need.

Can you tell me more about GLOSOLAN governance?

Can you tell me more about GLOSOLAN governance?

The appointment of the Chair of the network takes place during the annual meeting of GLOSOLAN. The term for the Chairperson is two years after election, extendable via GLOSOLAN decision to a second term. The Chair is, whenever possible, supported by a vice-Chair in all its activities and tasks. The Terms of Reference for the positions of GLOSOLAN Chair and vice-Chair are available here.

2019-2021
Chair: Ms Nopmanee Suvannang (Thailand)
Vice Chair: Mr Rob de Hayr (Australia)

The Chair and vice-Chair are supported in all their activities by the GLOSOLAN coordinator at the Global Soil Partnership Secretariat, [email protected].

2017-2019
Chair: Ms Nopmanee Suvannang (Thailand)
Vice Chair: NA

Who are GLOSOLAN technical support partners?

Who are GLOSOLAN technical support partners?

Those institutions co-financing and facilitating the implementation of GLOSOLAN activities and providing GLOSOLAN with trainers and advisors are herewith listed as GLOSOLAN technical support partners

Who is financially supporting GLOSOLAN?

Who is financially supporting GLOSOLAN?

Please visit the Healthy Soil Facility to learn about the resource partners of the Global Soil Partnership and its Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN).

Latest stories

NENALAB

Launch of the NENA Laboratory Network

Towards the harmonization of soil laboratory methods and data

After the establishment of the Regional Soil Laboratory Networks for Asia, Latin America, the Pacific, Africa, and Europe and Eurasia, GLOSOLAN launched the Regional Soil Laboratory Network for the Near East and North Africa (NENALAB) in June 2020.

Innovation in understanding soils

Innovation in understanding soils

How a breakthrough in soil analysis changes our food systems

For the first time since the discovery of spectroscopy technology, institutions and experts from around the world are now joining efforts through a global programme to use this technology to support decision making on soil protection globally.

GLOSOLAN Soil SIMPLE

Launch of the SIMPLE database

The first global custom control procedure database

This new FAO online tool will promote and facilitate the execution of international inter-laboratory comparisons while simplifying the shipment of soil samples between countries for research purposes and/or analysis abroad.

Job opportunities in soil laboratories

Is you laboratory/institute opening any vacancy? Let us know, we will inform our GLOSOLAN members about it!

Job vacancy

Job Position: Researcher

Employer: AGROCARES nutrient intelligence

Location: Wageningen, the Netherlands
Duration: 1 year temporary contract with possibility of extension to permanent after that
How to apply: Send CV and motivation letter to [email protected] (all details are in the post)

Job vacancy

Postdoc Research Associate

Employer: Institute of Soil Research

Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 5 years
How to apply: Please send your job application to Eva Ecker, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 70; Email: [email protected] (Reference “Postdoc position”)


Bootstrap Example
GLOSOLAN Meetings

National Soil Laboratories and Regional Soil Laboratory Networks joined forces to work towards harmonization of data, data analysis and methodologies.

1st GLOSOLAN meeting
First meeting
FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy | 1 - 2 November 2017

During its first meeting GLOSOLAN agreed upon a concrete roadmap and ToRs for the network and its Chair.

2nd GLOSOLAN meeting
Second meeting
FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy | 28 - 30 November 2018

A first global survey was launched to identify laboratory priorities and to assess regional differences in procedures and methodologies.

3rd GLOSOLAN meeting
Third meeting
FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy | 28 - 30 October 2019

GLOSOLAN Chair reported on the activities implemented by GLOSOLAN in 2018-2019 noting that the work plan agreed for was fully implemented.

5th working session INSII
Fourth meeting
Online, Zoom platform | 20 - 23 October 2020

More information soon available

Constitutional documents

Global Assessments