Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition
Soils, where food begins
Virtual Event, 26/07/2022 - 29/07/2022
Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition (GSOIL4N)
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The Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition - “Soils, where food begins,” was held in a virtual format from 26 to 29 July 2022. The Symposium brought science and policy together to review the status and challenges of soil fertility in relation with crop, animal and human nutrition. Humans, like plants, and animals, need sufficient food to survive. But food must be safe and nutritious not only to provide energy and basic nutrients, but also to prevent disease and the intake of harmful toxins. About 95 percent of our food comes from soils, which have a natural capacity to support plant growth by providing them with nutrients through the soil solution.
"Soils for nutrition: state of the art" - This booklet contributes to understanding processes related to soil fertility from the perspectives of food production and food security, and the environmental and climate change impacts associated with fertilizer misuse and overuse. It also outlines the main areas of opportunity and the way forward to solve the nutrient imbalance prevailing in our current agrifood systems.
The main objectives of the Symposium were to review the state of the art on the role of soil fertility in delivering sufficient, high quality, safe, and more nutritious food for better nourished people, animals and plants. The Symposium identified critical knowledge gaps and provided the basis for discussion among policymakers, food producers, scientists, the fertilizer industry, practitioners, and other stakeholders on the creation of solutions that could provide more nutritious agri-food systems for enhanced human health and wellbeing while protecting the environment.
MAIN THEMES AND CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
The Scientific Committee of the GSOIL4N reviewed over 300 abstracts that competed for oral and poster presentations. Selected authors were notified with the details of the oral and poster presentations.
Abstracts addressed one of the following symposium themes:
Status and trends of global soil nutrient budget
Sustainable soil management for food security and better nutrition
Impacts of soil nutrient management on the environment and climate change
Governance of soil fertility/soil nutrients
Participants included international organizations, scientists and practitioners, NGOs, civil society, land users and indigenous peoples, as well as local communities, industry and private sector representatives. Participation to the Symposium was free.
"Soil health is as crucial for producing nutritious food, as nutrition is for children during their first 1000 days. Just like good nutrition is the best investment in children's physical resilience, their cognitive development, wellbeing, and future earning power, healthy soil should be the bedrock for every country's food system. A food system that will produce healthy and nutritious food in a climate resilient way, ensuring prosperity for all people involved."
H.E. Gerda VERBURG, UN Assistant Secretary-General and coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement
"Global land-use change, soil moisture variability, and application of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers have transgressed planetary boundaries, levels defining safe operating space for humanity, thus undermining the biosphere’s capacity to withstand anthropogenic disturbance and jeopardising future Earth system stability. To return into Earth's safe space, a radical global food system transformation is necessary."
PROF ROCKSTRÖM, POTSDAM INSTITUTE FOR CLIMATE IMPACT RESEARCH, GERMANY
"Soil provides over 95% of food and mineral nutrition for human life. Rational utilization of soil nutrition management strategy can realize a green agriculture with high productivity, high resource use efficiency and a reduced environmental impact."
PROF. ZHANG FUSUO, CHINA AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY, CHINA
“Soil is the basis of all life on earth. Soil health is the foundation of sustainable food systems and food security for all. We have to recognize the central role of healthy soils as an asset that is key to nutrition, economic development, climate change and resilient livelihoods, and value them accordingly.”
ALZBETA KLEIN, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL FERTILIZER ASSOCIATION (IFA)
"Understanding of factors governing soil micronutrient supply, their exploitation, and a complementary suite of innovative agronomic biofortification technologies is key towards improved human and livestock nutrition, and conservation of the soil resource base."
GRACE KANGARA, Rothamsted Research, UNITED KINGDOM
"The Fertilizer Code should be a guiding tool to avoid the underuse, misuse and overuse of fertilizers. The use of pulses, crop diversification and rotation as well as innovative solutions should be promoted."
VINISA SAYNES SANTILLAN, FAO GLOBAL SOIL PARTNERSHIP
Learn more about their bios here.
- Virtual event (follow the registration link)
- Time zone of the event: CEST+2
- Languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic (only for the first day).
- Organizers: FAO, Global Soil Partnership, Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils, International Network on Fertilizers Analysis.
- Webcast of the plenary sessions: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4
Healthy soils: the foundation of healthy food and a better environment
Bricks for life - Fossick project
Soil: An essential ingredient to healthy food and nutrition