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Fill out the global survey on soil pollution

Deadline for completing the survey is 10 May 2019

Link to the ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE. Available also in Spanish.

We recommend you to familiarize yourself with the PDF version of the questionnaire (Spanish PDFbefore starting the online one!


Soil pollution has been internationally recognized as a major threat to soil health and soil’s ability to provide ecosystem services (FAO and ITPS, 2015), including the production of safe and sufficient food and clean water. Soil pollution is a chemical degradation process that is consuming fertile soils and posing at risk global food security and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically: end of poverty (SDG1), zero hunger (SDG2), ensure healthy lives and well-being (SDG3), make cities safe and resilient (SDG11) and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss (SDG15). Years of human activities and habits have left a legacy of polluted soils worldwide. Studies conducted so far have largely been limited to developed economies, so there are massive information gaps regarding the full nature and extent of the problem. Available numbers do not reflect the complete extent of soil pollution around the world, and highlight the inadequacy of accessible data, the uncertainties and the differences in registering polluted sites across geographic regions, especially in developing countries and at a global scale.

The increasing awareness on soil contamination and pollution, including the urgent need for action towards protection and monitoring of soil condition at national and global levels, led to the joint organization of the Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18) by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP), Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), together with the Secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Conventions), UN Environment and World Health Organization (WHO) on 2 - 4 May 2018. The symposium succeeded in highlighting that the prevention of soil pollution should be a priority worldwide as soil pollution poses as a worrisome threat to agricultural productivity, affecting the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the health of our ecosystems. More than 500 participants from over 100 countries engaged actively by presenting the results of their studies and discussing the challenges of effective policy formulation, decision making and on the-ground implementation. Based on those results, the outcome document of the symposium 'Be the Solution to Soil Pollution' recommendations call for accelerated actions and increased international collaboration to minimize/mitigate the hazard of soil pollution in the field through the execution sustainable soil management practices.

At the third UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3), which took place in Nairobi on 4 - 6 December 2017, 170 countries agreed on the urgency of addressing soil pollution. The Ministerial resolution 'Managing Soil Pollution to Achieve Sustainable Development' was adopted to tackle the problem at global level. This resolution requests FAO and its GSP/ITPS, WHO, UN Environment, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to prepare a report based on the extent and future trends of soil pollution, considering both point source contamination and diffuse pollution, and its negative impacts on food security, human health, and the environment.

Building upon the GSOP18 recommendations and the mandate of UNEA-3, and with reference to exhortations by the sixth GSP Plenary Assembly on the need to involve member countries in a global assessment of the status of soil pollution, the ITPS, UN Environment and WHO have prepared a questionnaire to collect national information on soil pollution from different sources. The purpose of this survey is to gather material which will help shape a global picture of soil pollution and identify gaps and areas of intervention that can trigger action at national, regional and global level. Participation of different stakeholders is crucial to produce a quality report that reflects closely the national, regional, global situation. In addition, findings and recommendations made in this assessment will be presented in a report at UNEA-5 in March 2021, where key decisions and future actions to address soil pollution will be taken.

The deadline for completing the survey on the status of soil pollution in your country is 10 May 2019.

Link to the ONLINE QUESTIONNAIREAvailable also in Spanish.

Please note that the information is not automatically saved if you exit the questionnaire before submission.

We recommend that you look at the questionnaire in pdf format first and make sure you have the information you need to answer all the questions before starting the online questionnaire.

Link to the PDF version of the questionnaire (Spanish PDF).

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