Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management on track to be presented to FAO Council for approval in December 2016
Today, the 25th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG25) endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM).
The initial process started in December 2015 during the celebration of the International Year of Soils when the 153rd FAO Council supported the development of Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) with the aim of facilitating the implementation of the World Soil Charter and promote effective and sustainable soil management in all regions. The Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) was tasked to develop a zero-draft of the VGSSM which was subsequently subject to a comprehensive e-consultation process with all interested partners and stakeholders. These contributions directly fed the VGSSM first draft which was subsequently submitted to an Open-Ended Working Group for its finalization and submission to first the Global Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly (May 2016) and finally the 25th Committee on Agriculture (September 2016). The adopted text will now be submitted for final adoption by FAO member countries at the 155th session of the FAO Council in December this year.
The VGSSM contains a series of recommendations (based on scientific evidence) that aim to guide the application of sustainable soil management principles and practices at all levels. After its final approval by the FAO Council in December 2016, the guidelines are expected to be the global reference to guide sustainable soil management interventions.