Global Soil Partnership

Background and objectives


The renewed recognition of the central role of soil resources for assuring food security and the increased awareness that soils play a fundamental role in climate change adaptation and mitigation has triggered numerous projects, initiatives and actions that need an increased effort of coordination and partnership in order to avoid un-necessary duplication of efforts and waste of resources, especially in times of substantial budget restrictions.

©FAO/Walter AstradaOn the basis of the recommendation of FAO's High-Level External Committee (HLEC) on the Millennium Development Goals to the Director-General (13-14 October 2009) and the discussions and conclusions from the 22nd Committee on Agriculture (COAG) on the 16th-19th of June 2010, preparatory activities have been initiated by FAO in order to explore the possibility of establishing a global soil partnership according to the recommendations by the COAG (CL 140/3). During this exploratory phase, FAO’s comparative advantage in leading such an initiative has been clearly identified and has allowed to develop a vision statement, strategy and action plan towards the establishment of a Global Soil Partnership (GSP) for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation.

Strategic objectives

Through enhanced and applied knowledge about soil resources as well as a harmonization process, the Global Soil Partnership will:

  • Create and promote awareness among all type of stakeholders that healthy soils and sustainable soil management are the precondition for human well-being;
  • Address critical soil issues that are globally and regionally relevant for sustaining the provisioning services through soils;
  • Guide soil knowledge and targeted research in accordance with national conditions and needs to address concrete challenges on the ground;  
  • Develop sustainable management strategies for different soils considering their potentials and limitations for different types of uses;
  • Promote access to soil information and advocate the need for new soil surveys and data collection;
  • Promote investment and technical cooperation in all related soil issues to address fundamental issues in different regions;
  • Promote institutional strengthening and capacity development of soil institutions at local, national, regional and interregional levels; and.
  • Promote necessary public and governmental awareness of soils through recognition of the World Soil Day (December 5th) and celebration of the International year of Soils. 
©FAO/Rodger Bosch