“Because it’s everywhere, we tend to overlook the fact that soil is a limited natural resource”
Soil is a finite natural resource. On a human time-scale it is non-renewable. However, despite the essential role that soil plays in the life of people, there is increasing degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate practices, burgeoning population pressures and inadequate governance over this essential resource.
Soils, the foundation of agricultural development and ecological sustainability, provide the basis for food, feed, fuel and fiber production, clean water availability, nutrient cycling, organic carbon stocks, one quarter of global biodiversity, and serve as a platform for construction and construction material. However, soil quality varies with site conditions and management practices.
Soils are often perceived as a second-tier priority and no international governance body to support coordinated global action on their management exists. A unified and authoritative voice for soil management is needed to better coordinate efforts and pool limited resources.
For these reasons, FAO and a group of partners have launched the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) to improve global governance of the world’s soil resources in order to guarantee healthy, productive soils for a food secure world -- and to work together to sustain other essential ecosystem services on which our livelihoods and societies depend.