Global Soil Partnership

2018 G20 Buenos Aires: Improve soil productivity by sustainable soil management

G20 Meeting of Agriculture Ministers to help build a sustainable food future

27-28 July 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina


The Group of Twenty (G20), the leading forum of the word's major economies, seeks to develop global policies to address today'smost pressing challenges. The G20 countries - Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union - met on 27 - 28 July 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss proposals for the comprehensive and responsible management of soils. As a limited and non-renewable resource, at least over the course of a human life span, soils require the greatest attention. Participants examined food loss and waste, anti-microbial resistance, climate change and agricultural innovation. Starting from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which represents a milestone towards global sustainable development and a valuable framework for collective action, this sixth G20 ministerial meeting encouraged the exchange of good farming practices as well. Indeed, the G20 countries are key players in the global food system, as their territories account for about 60% of all agricultural land and  for almost 80% of world trade in food and agricultural commodities.

Among the senior officials present were Luis Miguel Etchevehere, Argentine Minister of Agribusiness; Sonny Perdue, US Secretary of Agriculture; Julia Klöckner, German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture; David Littleproud, Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources; and Atsushi Nonaka, Japanese Parliamentary Vice-minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Senior officials from guest countries and experts from international organizations, such as Julio Berdegué, Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Stephanie Hochstetter, Chair of the Executive Board at the World Food Programme (WFP).

Fighting hunger and improve nutrition by increasing agricultural productivity and incomes, requires a sustainable way of management the natural resources base. Food security is an important link in the process of achieving security and peace. In no other sectors security and development are interlinked and mutually reinforced as much as in food. Soils are a key part of the natural environment and from where most of the food consumed by mankind is produced. Healthy, fertile and productive soils are necessary for food security and human health, and their preservation is crucial for sustainable development and life on our planet. Approximately 10 million hectares of cropland are lost every year due to soil erosion. The reduction of the land available for food production causes an irreversible degradation to the ecosystem which becomes dramatic in developing countries or regions with high food insecurity.

2018 G20 Buenos Aires has been a valuable opportunity to promote a broad debate on the importance of sustainable soil management. The work in this field was oriented to explore how the G20 can provide the international coordination necessary to foster public-private collaboration between industries, governments, international agencies, farmers' associations and civil society.

Read more in the G20 Declaration from the Meeting of Agriculture Ministers (pdf available)