Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity
In focus

The State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity: Enter a hidden world

Discover life belowground: from genes and species to the communities they form

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI21), ‘Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity’ will be a science-policy meeting, fully virtual that will take place from 19-22 April 2021. Due to its new format and the time difference between the different regions of the world, adjustments have been made to the current agenda. 

It is jointly organized by the UN FAO and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), together with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) and the Science-Policy Interface of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (SPI UNCCD).

The main objective will be to fill some critical knowledge gaps and promote discussion among policy makers, food producers, scientists, practitioners and other stakeholders on solutions to live in harmony with nature, and ultimately, achieve the SDGs through the conservation and sustainable use of soil biodiversity.

5 benefits

Healthy soils

Plant growth

Human health

Water purification

Climate change mitigation and adaption

Symposium keynote speakers

Daphne Miller, Department of Family Medicine, University of California, USA

"Whether we are talking about microbes, plants, insects, animals, or humans, there is an abundance of evidence that diversity promotes health and resilience"



Felipe Pasini| Farmer, Brazil

"Sustainable agriculture directly depends on the biodiversity in the soil. The more we understand about the magnificent organisms that live under our feet, the greater the urgency to drastically rethink the way we grow our food"



Diana Wall | School of Global Environmental Sustainability - Colorado State University, USA

"Soil biodiversity is a needed key for a changing world as it supports human well-being and helps to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals"



Wim H. van der Putten | Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Wageningen, the Netherlands

"Soil biodiversity lessons from nature help to suppress soil-borne diseases incidence in crop production systems and develop long-term strategies towards ecologically sustainable food production"