Global Soil Partnership

Launch the International Network on Soil Biodiversity (NETSOB)

On the occasion of the World Soil Day official celebrations "Halt soil salinization, Boost soil productivity" - to take place on 3 December 2021 from 12:30 to 13:30 CET, FAO's Global Soil Partnership at 14:00 CET will launch the International Network on Soil Biodiversity (NETSOB), as per the recommendations of the Outcome Document of the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity".


Despite the clear importance of soil biodiversity in the provision of essential ecosystem services for life on earth and human well-being, its proper use and management is yet to be fully realised. Even though substantial progress has been made in ​expanding knowledge about the global distribution of soil biodiversity and its functions, only around one percent of soil organisms have so far been identified. Moreover, soil biodiversity loss remains one of the main global threats in many regions of the world. Nature-based solutions have proven to be the best and most sustainable mechanisms for achieving human well-being, addressing climate ​change, and protecting the environment. This potential has recently been recognised by the international community and there are many stakeholders interested in protecting, conserving and sustainably using soil biodiversity to address major environmental challenges. We must take advantage of this momentum and the interest and concern that exists on the topic of soil biodiversity loss to implement sound policies and spur on actions for the conservation, management, and sustainable use of soil biodiversity.


The Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI21), held virtually on 19-22 April 2021, brought together over 5 000 participants from 160 countries. Interesting ideas, actions and gaps were shared and discussed through an interactive plenary and parallel sessions. All agreed that soil biodiversity needs to be fully recognized and must first and foremost be protected and managed in a sustainable way.

All co-organizers and participants are committed to start with the implementation of the recommendations of the GSOBI21 Outcome document, and support the International Initiative for the Sustainable Use and Management of Soil Biodiversity.  

One of the key recommendations of the Outcome Document is the establishment of the International Network on Soil Biodiversity (NETSOB). The NETSOB aims to bring soil biodiversity experts and existing initiatives together to become the critical mass that contributes to the implementation of the Global Soil Biodiversity Observatory (GLOSOB). The NETSOB will be open to scientists, researchers, international organizations, institutions, decision makers, farmers, and any other relevant stakeholders with expertise in the assessment, mapping, monitoring and sustainable use of soil biodiversity. 

How can you take part in this initiative?

📍 Join us for the launch of the NETSOB on 3 December at 14:00 CET via Zoom platform.  Interpretation in the 6 FAO languages will be available. The NETSOB launch will define its working groups and governance, as well as analyze the roadmap and key activities to contribute to strengthening and improving knowledge on soil biodiversity at all levels. All participants from GSOBI21 and all existing initiatives are welcomed!


📍 Take 5 minutes of your time and fill out the registration form indicating your favorite working groups. 


If you are interested in applying for the position of Chair or Vice-chairs of NETSOB, please review the selection criteria and send a one-page CV together with a cover letter outlining your interest to [email protected] by 1 December. Please note that there will be 4 vice-chair positions to represent each working group.        

More information


We would also like to inform you that the proceedings of the symposium have been released and are now available for DOWNLOAD.

For any questions regarding NETSOB please contact Ms Rosa Cuevas [email protected].

About the work of the Global Soil Partnership on Soil Biodiversity: Read more

Details of the event | Agenda | Presentations | Highlight | Webcast | Recordings of the meeting | Report (available soon)