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Seventh working session of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils

The Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils held its seventh working session from 30 October to 2 November 2017 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. 


The proposed agenda was adopted with the addition of discussion points on the second Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR) report and the concept of land degradation neutrality (LDN). The ITPS Chair presented the main activities performed by the ITPS since its 6th working session: the initiation of the assessment at global level of the impact of PPPs on soil functions and soil ecosystems, the support offered to the implementation of the GSP Plans of Action and the development of Regional Implementation Plans, the collaboration with the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership (LEAP) for developing guidelines on soil carbon stock changes in grasslands and rangelands and more.

After highlighting the important work done by the ITPS since the previous working sessions, participants were reminded of their tasks for 2017. This meant, the delivery of the Global Soil Organic Carbon map for World Soil Day 2017, and the review of the report on impacts of  Plant Protection Products on soils. ITPS members reviewed and cleared the GSOC map and the “Global assessment of the impact of plant protection products on soil functions and soil ecosystems”.

The organization of the forthcoming Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOC18) came under the spotlight. During its second session ITPS dealt with the establishment of a working group on SOC management to implement the recommendations of the outcome document of the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC17). The preparation of a Code of Conduct on the management of fertilizers as per implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) together with the development of a study on the economic benefits of Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) for farmers and other land users were discussed in detail. ITPS members were commended for their active role in these endeavors and for seeking collaboration with other international organizations and panels to promote concrete activities in support of the implementation of SSM practices in the different regions of concern.

Next ITPS meeting will probably be organized during the week of the GSOP18, scheduled for 2-4 May 2018 since ITPS members will be involved in the symposium by default.

Last but not least, the Chair of the meeting recalled members that  the call for nominations for the new ITPS will b launched in early 2018 and urged members to inform their constituencies of the work programme moving forward to ensure the selection of a high quality panel. 

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