Global Soil Partnership

Black soils are characterized by a very dark-colored topsoil, rich in soil organic carbon. They are amongst the most productive and fertile soils in the world.

Black soils are key for food security and the global economy. In 2010, 66 percent of sunflower seed, 30 percent of wheat and 26 percent of potato outputs were harvested from black soils

Black soils are paramount for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In Europe alone, black soils contribute to half of the region’s soil carbon sequestration potential.

Black soils are home to many rural communities. For instance, 93 percent of the Moldovan population and 52 percent of the Ukrainian population live on black soils.

Black soils are under threat. Two thirds of the black soil area is currently used for agricultural production.

International Network of Black Soils

The International Network of Black Soils (INBS) aims to provide a platform for knowledge sharing for countries with black soils to discuss common issues related to the conservation and sustainable management of these soils and the need to foster technical exchanges and cooperation. Launched in March 2017, in the presence of representatives from national soil institutions from Argentina, Brazil, China, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America (USA), the INBS will enhance collaboration and identify relevant research gaps to be addressed in a global status report on the challenges of scaling up the sustainable use of black soils. Delegates from 18 countries signed the Harbin Communiqué (September,  2018). For more information contact: [email protected] and the: GSP-Secretariat.

INBS definition, functions and duties

Black Soils are characterized by a thick, dark-colored soil horizon rich in organic matter. Due to their inherent high fertility, these soils remain very sensitive to anthropogenic intervention and are prone to severe degradation. Because of their high soil organic carbon (SOC) content, they are also very sensitive and can be potential large sources of greenhouse gases. Extensively and intensively farmed, they constitute the food basket for many countries. Notwithstanding the relatively small percentage (7%) of the world’s ice-free land surface Black Soils cover, it is crucial to promote their conservation and sustainable use to maintain their functioning in order to sustain their supporting food security while protecting the environment and mitigating climate change.

Related links

The establishment of this network has the following objectives:

1. To provide a platform for countries with black soils to discuss common issues related to the conservation and sustainable management of Black Soils.

2. To develop a report on the global status, current productivity and challenges in black soils.

3. To foster collaboration among these countries towards promoting the sustainable use and management of Black Soils and identify relevant research gaps.

4. To serve as a platform for knowledge sharing and technical cooperation on Black Soils management.

Check the launching video

Check the DG Graziano Da Silva video message

The network is established under the framework of the Global Soil Partnership. Countries with Black Soils through their national soil institutions (i.e. Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Hungary, India, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, etc.) will be invited to join this network under clear Terms of Reference and under the guidance of a Network Chair (to be appointed following the Terms of Reference). Check the International Black Soil Monitoring Network.

Contact us at the GSP Secretariat if you need to reach out the INBS country focal point.

INBS focal point

Contact person


Ivan Vasenev (Russian Federation) 

Previous Chair

Guiqing Han (China)

Vice -Chairman

Mykola Mirshnychenko (Ukraine)


Yuxin Tong


Marcos Esteban Angelini


Xiaoyuan Geng

European Union

Luca Montanarella

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal

Chandra Risal

The Federative Republic of Brazil

Ademir Fontana


Maria Fantappié


Tamás Hermann


Bernard Waruru

The Kingdom of Morocco

Rachid Moussadek

The Kingdom of Thailand

Sunsanee Arunyawat

The Kyrgyz Republic

Roza Orozakunova


Enkhtuya Bazarradnaa

The Republic of Poland 

Bozena Smreczak

The Republic of Mozambique

Jose da Graca Tomo

The Republic of Armenia

Markosyan Albert

The Republic of Bulgaria

Toma Shishkov

The Republic of Chile

Rodrigo Osorio Hermosilla

The People's Republic of China

Baoku Zhou

The Republic of Colombia

Napoleón Ordóñez Delgado

The Republic of Georgia

Giorgi Ghambashidze

The Republic of Indonesia

Yiyi Sulaeman

The Republic of Iraq

Kutaiba M.Hassan

The Republic of Kazakhstan

Potehin Konstantin 

The Republic of Kazakhstan

Saparov Abdulla 


Mario Guevara Santamaria

The Republic of Moldova

Tatiana Ciolacu

The Republic of Turkey

Hakkı Emrah Erdogan

The Eastern Republic of Uruguay

Carlos Clérici

The Republic of Zambia

Stalin Sichinga

The Russian Federation

Ivan Vasenev

The Slovak Republic

Martin Saksa

The Republic of South Africa

Matshwene E. Moshia III

The Syrian Arab Republic

Hussam Hag Mohame Husein


Mykola Miroshnychenko

The United States of America

Skye Angela Wills

Any partner of the FAO Global Soil Partnership can become a member of INBS. To become a partner of the Global Soil Partnership, please register through the online form. and send an email to to [email protected] and [email protected]. National institutions, academia, NGOs, civil society, farmer associations, and other stakeholders interested to participate in the joint action to achieve the sustainable and productive management of black soils are welcome to join this network .

Latest stories


OFFICIAL RELEASE ON 5 DECEMBER 2022 - This crucial publication presents the state of knowledge on black soils and explains why they are under severe threat.

Black soils are well known as the world's food basket or the "giant panda on arable land". For decades, these fertile soils have been widely cultivated, and have played a key role in global agricultural production of cereals, tuber crops, oilseed, pastures, and forage systems. In addition, black soils are paramount for climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, this black treasure is under threat. Because of land use change from natural grasslands to cropping systems, unsustainable management practices and excessive use of agrochemicals, most of the black soils have lost half of their SOC stocks and suffer from moderate to severe erosion processes, as well as nutrient imbalances, acidification, compaction and soil biodiversity loss.

FAO and its Global Soil Partnership are committed to the conservation and sustainable management of black soils and established the International Network of Black Soils. This report constitutes a fundamental step to guide decision making regarding the future of black soils. The main recommendation of this report is the establishment of a global agreement for the sustainable management of black soils. 

doi | FAO card | PDF (Official release on: 5 December 2022)


Global Black Soil Distribution Map

GBSmap - v1.0 has just been launched! Click here to learn more

Main activities

International Symposium on Black Soils

Symposium on black soils

10 - 12 September 2018 | Harbin, China

Organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China and the government of the Heilongjiang Province, the Symposium promoted the sustainable use and management of black soils.

gsoc17 Implementation

GSOC17 Implementation Plan

Recommendations from the Symposium

Prioritizing soils with the highest carbon stocks in the development of national and regional policies on soil conservation to prevent SOC per the GSOC17 recommendations.

Photo contest on black soils

Photo contest on black Soils

Raising awareness for food security

Over 60 photos from 20 countries received for the contest, which challenged people to show the current status of black soils in their area or ways in which the region's black soils are sustainably managed

Related products and trainings

International Network of Black Soils
Launch of the global black soils map

INBS coordinated the mapping process.

Capacity development on Black Soils
Capacity Development on Black Soils Mapping

On-the-job trainings conducted in 2020-2021


Bootstrap Example

INBS related events and working sessions

INBS agreed to advance science and technology of black soils management in the world

4th working session INBS
4th meeting of the International Network on Black Soils
Virtual meeting | 30 Mar 2023

The International Network of Black Soils (INBS) provides a platform for knowledge sharing for countries with black soils to discuss common issues.

4th working session INBS
Launch of the International Research Institution of Black Soils (IRIBS)
10 June 2022

IRIBS was launched on 10 June 2022 through a FAO/INBS virtual event. The People’s Government of Heilongjiang Province of China proposed its establishment in the framework of the INBS.

4th working session INBS
INBS Third workshop
13 - 14 December 2021

INBS has been postponed and will held its third workshop on 13 - 14 December 2021.

4th working session INBS
Global Black Soil Map online training session
09 - 11 December 2020, Online | Zoom platform

The training session is creating the Global Black Soil map following the indications provided in the guidelines.

4th working session INBS
Working sessions on the black soil report and map
12 - 13 October 2020, Online | Zoom platform

INBS held its working session online through the Zoom platform.

3rd working session INBS
Working session on black soil definition
FAO headquarters, Rome | 01 - 05 November 2019

ITPS finalized the definition of black soils and focused on the preparation of the Global Status of Black Soils.

4th working session INBS
INBS Second workshop and the International Scientific Conference “Eastern European Chernozems – 140 Years after Dokuchaev”
4 - 5 October 2019, Chisinau, Moldova

The second workshop of the International Network of Black Soils (INBS) was held in Chisinau, Moldova on 04 - 05 October 2019.

2nd working session INBS
INBS First workshop and International Symposium on Black Soils
Harbin, China | 10 - 12 September 2018

During the International Symposium on Black Soils, INBS discusses the structure and roadmap of the network.

1st working session INBS
Launch of the International Network on Black Soils
FAO headquarters, Rome | 21 March 2017

The International Network on Black Soils was established during the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (March 2017).

Related publications

Global Status of Black Soils

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