July/August 2008  -  Announcement of a publication

Harmonized world soil database


A new database on the world’s soils improves knowledge of the current and future land productivity as well as the present carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential of the world’s soils. It helps to identify land and water limitations, and assist in assessing the risks of land degradation, particularly soil erosion risks.

Derived from the soil database, FAO has produced a global Carbon Gap Map that allows for the identification of areas where soil carbon storage is greatest and the physical potential for billions of tons of additional carbon to be sequestrated in degraded soils.

Soil information, from global to local scale, has often been the one missing biophysical information layer, which absence added to the uncertainties of predicting potentials and constraints for food and fibre production. The lack of reliable and harmonized soil data has hampered considerably land degradation assessments, environmental impact studies and adapted sustainable land management interventions.

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© FAO, 2007