Global Soil Partnership

Pillar 3: Promote targeted soil research and development focusing on identified gaps, priorities and synergies with related productive, environmental and social development actions

©FAO/Simon Maina

There is a large number of research activities and projects related to soils around the world. Many projects would benefit from increased coordination with other on-going research activities. Communication amongst research communities dealing with various aspects of soils is often limited or non-existent; and inter- and trans-disciplinary research is still very limited.

Building bridges between various research communities could bring large benefits to the global scientific knowledge base and lead to more coherent soil related activities. Breaking disciplinary barriers among geology, soil science, agronomy, forestry, pasture/rangeland management, hydrology, water resources management, agro-climatology, ecology, soil biology and ecosystems research could improve the quality and applicability of research and provide new avenues for future integrated research and development programs.

The biophysical aspects of research must be associated with relevant research into social, political and economic issues that are inherently tied to the whole questions of soil protection/conservation through soil management. 

The GSP should closely link to new global research initiatives, like the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, and should also provide input and support to the main scientific advisory bodies of the three Rio Conventions: IPCC for the UNFCCC, IPBES for the CBD and the UNCCD. 

The GSP implementation mechanisms should be able to identify and support soil research and development priorities to address key soil issues that are relevant to the main programmatic areas but currently undertaken, or only in an uncoordinated way, by diverse organizations and institutions dealing with sustainable soil resources management, food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as water supply and quality. The aim will be to help focus and bring together wide-ranging soils research and knowledge to address the specific development challenges and concerns of today. 

The development of the Plan of Action of Pillar 2 will start at the Conference on Managing Soils for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Vienna, Austria 23-27 July 2012, where a specific session will be devoted to develop the road map for its preparation.