Global Soil Partnership

  • awareness raising
  • soil biodiversity
  • capacity development
  • soil information and data
  • soil erosion
  • soil fertility
  • soil governance
  • soil pollution
  • soil salinity
  • soil organic carbon

Soil is home to more than 25% of our planet's biodiversity

Only 1% of soil microorganisms species are known

Almost half of living organisms live or spend part of their life in soil

Soil biodiversity loss

Soil depends on the presence of a vast community of living organisms to remain healthy and fertile: these organisms make up soil biodiversity. Soil is a living resource, plants and animals above and below ground depends on the complex processes and interactions taking place in the soil and that enable life on earth. Unfortunately, the attention mainly goes to those species that we can see, while we tend to ignore those under our feet. Plants nurture a whole world of creatures in the soil, that in return feed and protect the plants.

Fighting loss of soil biodiversity is key to global food security and the achievement of more than half of the Sustainable Development Goals. Soil biodiversity plays a vital role in the soil ecosystem as soil organisms are responsible for nutrient cycling, regulating the dynamics of soil organic matter, soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, allowing soils to function properly. Soil biodiversity plays a central role in preserving human health through a range of pathways including water purification, climate stabilization, nutrient and food security, and immune regulation. Plants surrounded by biodiverse soils have a greater resilience against pests and diseases.

To prevent and minimize soil biodiversity loss, farmers and other land users can adopt sustainable soil management practices. Limiting waste by recycling and reusing will minimize the chances of soil pollution and therefore protect soil biodiversity. By sustaining green development and avoiding soil sealing by concrete or asphalt civil society allows soil biodiversity to breath and be alive. Governments should invest in gathering better knowledge about the status of soil biodiversity and functions, including by region and land cover type. Everyone can provide opportunities to support soil biodiversity around you by enhancing insects and other organisms habitat and allowing biomass (branches and leaves) to rot naturally.

Latest stories

Global Symposium on Biodiversity

High-Level Breakfast on Soil Biodiversity: Launch of the Global Soil Biodiversity Observatory

17/12/22 | Montreal, Canada

Soil biodiversity loss remains one of the main global threats to food security in many regions of the world and is likely greater than estimated due to the lack of data on this issue.

It's alive! Soil is much more than you think


When we go about our daily routines, most of us are unaware that beneath our feet lies an outstandingly diverse community of plants, animals and microbes that makes up our soils.

Keep soil alive

Soil should have rights too!


Growing up on a small farm in India, Dr. Rattan Lal experienced much of the hardship faced by today’s smallholder farmers. His family didn’t have running water or electricity, but he explains, “We never missed it because that was the way everybody lived.”

Webinar on soil biodiversity: a nature-based solution?


This webinar aims to discuss the global status, gaps and multiple benefits of soil biodiversity as a key contributor in sustaining life in this planet.

Take part into the Soil biodiversity contest - CLOSED


The main objective of the contest is to promote the importance of soil organisms and raise awareness on the urgency of protecting soil biodiversity. In the process, it creates a discussion and audience participation on social media on this topic.

In action

Global Symposium on Biodiversity

Symposium on Soil Biodiversity

19-22 April 2021, virtually (Zoom)

The Symposium will provide evidence to support actions to protect soil biodiversity and promote its sustainable management by addressing the causes of loss and enhancing the implementation of sustainable practices.

State of knowledge on soil biodiversity

State of knowledge

Global status, challenges, potentialites

The State of knowledge collects global and regionally contextualized assessment on soil biodiversity to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Keep soil alive

Keep soil alive for biodiversity

World Soil Day 2020

The communication campaign under the slogan 'Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity' draws attention to the global issue of soil biodiversity loss and the urgent need for collective efforts for a food secure future.

International Network on Soil Biodiversity

The International Network on Soil Biodiversity (NETSOB) was established in December 2021 to promote the sustainable use and conservation of soil biodiversity and and to bring experts in this field and existing initiatives together to become the critical mass that contributes to the implementation of the Global Soil Biodiversity Observatory (GLOSOB). 

For more information contact [email protected] and the GSP-Secretariat

Communication material

World Soil Day 2020 "Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity" communication campaign

Soil biodiversity book contest for children


Related publications

Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (AR | EN | ES | FR | RU | ZH)

The soil microbiome: a game changer for food and agriculture. Full report

The soil microbiome: a game changer for food and agriculture. Executive summary for policymakers and researchers

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