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Global Soil Partnership and its Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils under the spotlight this week

The Global Soil Partnership and its Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils are under the spotlight this week at the Committee on Food Security and the Plenary Assembly of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

18/10/2016

In the foreword of the State of Food and Agriculture 2016 (SOFO 2016), FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva mentions that "Soils are pivotal in regulating emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Appropriate land use and soil management lead to improved soil quality and fertility and can help mitigate the rise of atmospheric CO2". It is further stated that "Through the Global Soil Partnership, FAO promotes investment to minimize soil degradation and restore productivity in regions where people are most vulnerable, thus stabilizing global stores of soil organic matter".

Clearly, the contribution of soils to the global food security agenda and sustainable development is once more highlighted and a call is made for greater action from all actors worldwide to preserve and sustainably manage soils.

The report further focuses on how the transformation to sustainable development needs to involve millions of food producers in adapting to climate change impacts and reversing the widespread degradation of agriculture's natural resource base - from soil to forests to fisheries - which threatens the very sustainability of food production.

Also happening this week - the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) has become an official observer organization in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) plenary assembly which is currently being held in Bangkok. This will definitively pave the way towards a stronger recognition of soil science within the climate change community. The full document from the forty-fourth session of the IPCC on the admission of observer organizations is available here.