Global Soil Partnership

2nd working session of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions (INSII)

Group photo of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions

Representatives of Soil Information Institutions from all continents and regional soil partnerships met on two joint occasions at FAO headquarters in Rome on 23-25 November 2016.

A special technical session on soil organic carbon mapping was held on 23 November. Recently, the GSP secretariat, in support of the International Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) and its cooperation with UNCCD’s Science Policy Interface (SPI), launched a global endeavor to develop a global soil organic carbon map by 5 December 2017 (GSOC). The GSOC map will be compiled from national maps which will be developed based on global guidelines. The guidelines contain definitions to ensure that national maps are comparable globally. During this session, the mapping specifications and the detailed methodologies were discussed, and examples of national SOC maps presented. Developing the GSOC map is a challenge which will require intensive collaboration between soil information institutions globally.

On 24-25 November the International Network of Soil Information Institutions (INSII) held its second meeting to discuss progress in the implementation of Pillar 4, which involves the development of the Global Soil Information System and its data products, including SoilSTAT. The meeting focused on important elements related to the establishment of the INSII network, the GSP data policy and a so-called arrangement. The arrangement will formally ask INSII institutions to implement Pillars 4 and 5 through national action and active participation in the INSII network. Other topics of discussion were the draft call for the Global Spatial Soil Data Infrastructure Centre (GSSDIC), suggestions by FAO regarding the infrastructure for SoilSTAT, and the GSOC mapping campaign.