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Global Symposium on Soil Erosion

Headquarters hosts the first Global Symposium on Soil Erosion next week from 15 to 17 May


Did you know that the equivalent of one soccer pitch of soil is eroded every five seconds? After the Global Symposium on Soil Erosion you will know why soil erosion is such a big threat to our planet and what is being done to stop it. This week sees over 500 representatives from governments, the private sector, civil society, farmer organizations and academic and research institutions gather at headquarters to talk about soil erosion.

The Global Symposium on Soil Erosion (GSER19) aims to translate scientific and policy evidence into decisions and actions that minimize soil erosion to support the provision of essential ecosystem services, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable development. Discussions will be structured around three key themes and their respective working documents: the use of data and assessment tools in soil erosion control; practices and policy in action to address soil erosion; and the economics of soil erosion control and restoration of eroded land. 

Many activities, all of which are open to FAO staff, are taking place over the three-day programme. The symposium kicks off on Wednesday morning at 10:00.The afternoon session will focus on soil erosion from different perspectives gathering testimonies of soil erosion as seen from space (there’s even an astronaut on the panel!), from the ground and through time. This will be followed by an introduction to the symposium’s key themes and technical sessions.

Combining art and science, the FAO atrium will become a space where staff and participants can interact and reflect on soil erosion. Staff are encouraged to check out the soil erosion exhibition which shows soil erosion from different perspectives, ‘from space to the ground’ through a fantastic set of satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as well as photos of soil erosion from the ground. The exhibition also features a giant papier-mâché sphere which represents the fragility of our world. The display highlights the role of man as both a cause of and a potential solution to soil erosion.

Day two revolves around the technical sessions with more than 120 oral and poster presentations taking place over the day. Scientific posters will be on display in the atrium.

On Friday afternoon, the symposium will wrap up with a high-level discussion on the way forward.  Winners of the video contest on soil erosion will also be announced. All are encouraged to vote for their favourite video by liking it on youtube here by 16 May!

Three side events will take place over the course of the Symposium.

Read more about the symposium here.

Read more about FAO’s work on soils here.

The full programme can be found here.

The symposium´s opening and plenary session on 15 May will be webcast here: morning | afternoon.

Follow the conversation #StopSoilErosion