Establishment of Regional Soil Partnerships
In accordance with the ToRs and Rules of Procedure of the GSP, and as specifically recommended by the first GSP Plenary Assembly, the Secretariat has sought to support partners towards the establishment of active Regional Soil Partnerships.
It bears recalling that these Regional Soil Partnerships (RSPs) are expected to play a key role in the effective implementation of GSP agreed actions. In particular, they should nurture interactive consultative processes involving national soils entities and relevant regional institutions, for the discussion inter alia of regional priorities in terms of soil issues and possible solutions. Currently, progress has been made particularly in the following geographical areas: Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, South America and the Near East.
For instance, most recently, the European Soil Partnership was launched taking advantage of the second Global Soil Week held in Berlin, and a Partnership covering Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean was also launched at a meeting held in Cuba.
Following an online consultation on: “Towards a Eurasian Soil Partnership for food security”, a workshop is to take place in Moscow on 20 November 2013 for launching the sub-regional Eurasian Soil Partnership, as a chapter of the European Soil Partnership. Similarly, discussions are under way to establish a Pacific Soil Partnership during the first semester 2014.
Once established, these important bodies are to initiate implementing activities that could address the needs and priorities expressed during the different launch events by most of the partners. The current process of formulating global Plans of Action under the GSP pillars should feed to the maximum extent possible on the inputs of regional partners in order to take account of major regional priorities.
However, the more crucial phase of involvement of RSPs will be after the endorsement of these Plan of Actions by the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils and the GSP Plenary Assembly in the first half of 2014. The Regional Soil Partnerships should in fact develop more concrete implementation plans for each of the five Global Plans of Action. At that time, it will be imperative that solid and fully functioning Regional Soil Partnerships are in place.
Partners are invited to catalyze interest in their respective regions to achieve this important objective, thereby making the Global Soil Partnership a tangible reality at field level.