Global Soil Partnership

Why a Global Soil Partnership?

Soil is under pressure. The renewed recognition of the central role of soil resources as a basis for food security and their provision of key ecosystem services, including climate change adaptation and mitigation, has triggered numerous regional and international projects, initiatives and actions. Despite these numerous emergent activities, soil resources are still seen as a second-tier priority and no international governance body exists that advocates for and coordinates initiatives to ensure that knowledge and recognition of soils are appropriately represented in global change dialogues and decision making processes. At the same time, there is need for coordination and partnership to create a unified and recognized  voice for soils and to avoid fragmentation of efforts and wastage of resources. 

Maintaining healthy soils required for feeding the growing population of the world and meeting their needs for biomass (energy), fiber, fodder, and other products can only be ensured through a strong partnership. This is one of the key guiding principles for the establishment of the Global Soil Partnership.

GSP chart

Responses to soils today:

Soil data - fragmented, partly outdated (fertility, SOC, etc) heterogeneous and difficult to compare, not easily accessible, not responding to users needs

Soil capacities - increasingly a scarce resources (loss of soil expertise and skills)

Soil knowledge and research - fragmented (fertility, CC, ecology), domain of soil scientists, not accessible for use by various disciplines and for decision making, not tailored to address problems/development agendas of today

Awareness and investments in soil management - extremely low compared to the needs that soil is a precarious resource and requires special care from its users

Soil policy - Often received as a second tier priority; lack of international governance body to support coordinated global action on their management

Need for compatible and coordinated soil policies - a unified and authoritative voice is needed to better coordinate efforts and pool limited resources (for agriculture, forestry, food security, UNCCD, CBD, UNFCCC, disaster and drought management, land competition, rural and urban land use planning and development).