Global Soil Partnership

NENA Soil Partnership | Capacity Development on Digital Soil Mapping

Soil is the essential component of land and production systems and performs important ecosystem functions. Land degradation and loss of soil quality are widespread in many cropping systems in NENA countries, leading to declining soil fertility and productivity, hydrological disturbance, loss of biological diversity and reduced soil carbon.

Information about the distribution and characteristics of soils form the basis to make decisions about soil use and management and to prevent further degradation. Soil information need to be provided in suitable format to support the decisions at different levels.

Following the approval of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) by FAO Conference in 2012, the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Soil Partnership was established among interested and active stakeholders representing national soils entities (soil survey and soil management institutions, scientific soil societies, universities and soils scientists) working on soil functions and processes.

Strengthening the soil institutions through capacity development was highlighted as an important gap across the region and required to enable the national partners to contribute to the five pillars of action The GSP, with the support of the European Commission, is making efforts to respond to this demand by providing a Capacity Development Program on digital soil mapping. The DSM training workshop is contributing to the five pillars in general, but particularly to strengthen capacity in pillar four “Enhance the quality and availability of soil data and information: collection, analysis, validation, reporting, monitoring, integration with other disciplines”.

Digital Soil Mapping techniques facilitate the establishment of soil spatial information at different levels of detail required by the end-users. It is used to convert the available and legacy data from analogue into digital forms, which allows the users to use the data for many applications and foster the dissemination and sharing of soil data. This enables the use of soil data and information for more analysis and to support decisions in environmental related disciplines.

The aim of this capacity development program is to introduce recent concepts and techniques of DSM to soil scientists/staff who work at national soil science institutes in soil mapping related activities. This should reflect on developing and updating national and regional soil information.

By the end of the training, the participants became able to compile and harmonize legacy data and other input data for DSM applications, implementing DSM, and develop accurate digital soil maps for updating their national soil information systems. -The training workshop was held in Amman, Jordan during the period (29/11-07/12/2015).

Main topics of the training workshop were:

  1. Introduction to Soil Mapping and Digital Soil Mapping
  2. Data input and preparation for DSM
  3. Practical examples of data input and preparation
  4. DSM and production of digital soil maps
  5. Practical examples of DSM
  6. Production of final maps and accuracy

Training Material 

Report | Presentations | Programme | List of participants | Photo gallery

29 Nov 2015
- 07 Dec 2015
Amman, Jordan