Global Soil Partnership

Meeting Takeaways: The International Forum on Black Soil Conservation and Utilization

The International Forum on Black Soil Conservation and Utilization was held in the Jilin Province of the People's Republic of China from 21 to 23 July 2021. Organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MARA) in partnership with the International Network of Black Soils (INBS) of FAO's Global Soil Partnership, among others.


Watch the video: Protect black soils, Invest in the future! 

High-level government officials and well-known soil experts of relevant countries attended the Forum (1) to share information on the new development and trends in the conservation and utilization of black soils, (2) to discuss the impact of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation on soil health, and (3) to promote international cooperation on black soil conservation and utilization. More than 300 participants from China, Russian Federation, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, the European Union together with other international organizations concerned with the issue of black soils, attended the Forum. Keynote speeches were delivered by the FAO Director General Mr QU Dongyu,  (read by the Representative of FAO to China), Ministers of China, Russian Federation, the United States, Brazil, Argentina and the European Union. Twentyeight technical presentations on the topic were presented during the event.

The main outcome of the Forum was the Changchun Initiative that aims at protecting black soils as one of the more precious natural resources on Earth, and at further promoting the sustainable use and management. Scholars from different countries attended the Forum, all together issuing the above-mentioned initiative and communicating it to governments and all relevant sectors of society. Among its key points, it is worthy mentioning that the initiative:

1.   Fully understands and realizes the functional importance of black soil, especially their crucial role in ensuring food security, improving farmers' livelihoods, maintaining ecosystems, protecting biodiversity, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and in promoting the achievement of carbon neutrality;

2.   Carries out scientific surveys on the quantity, distribution and quality of black soil in order to establish an complete database; promotes the use of modern agricultural technologies to map the global distribution of black soils and gain a comprehensive understanding of the current status of global black soil resources;

3.   Strengthens research on the dynamics, processes and influencing factors hidden behind the quality on black soil from both spatial and temporal perspectives; Establishes technical and standard evaluation systems; Enhances the monitoring of the dynamics of black soil, and regularly reports on the state-of-the art;

4.   Enhances the research and development of new technologies, methods and products to control the degradation and to conserve these essential resources;  Develops solutions for black soil conservation and utilization for different regions and soil types, and shares and effectively applies known techniques through appropriate approaches;

5.   Establishes laws, regulations and policy measures for the conservation and utilization of black soils, and opposes to any form of destruction of this natural resource; Promotes public awareness and encourages all sectors of society, including governments, scientific research institutions, agricultural producers and the private sector, to actively participate in the conservation and sustainable utilization of black soil;

6.   Consolidates and reinforces international cooperation by establishing relevant mechanisms and platforms, and conducts an active policy dialogue based also on technical exchanges, and personnel trainings so as to improve the global protection capabilities of black soils at national and international level.

Details of the event | Video: Protect black soils, Invest in the future! - ZH link | Flickr Photogallery