Global Soil Partnership

The VGSSM are now available in two additional languages: Slovenian and German!


Healthy soils are the basis for food production, but soil use is often confronted with complex challenges and conflicting interests and is under great stress. Worldwide, populations are growing rapidly and soils are becoming increasingly degraded. In the European Alpine region, soils suitable for agriculture are limited and are often located in areas where tourism, housing and food production compete for land use. At the same time, climate change and soil degradation pose an increasing risk to food production.


Soils are a fundamental non-renewable resource for food and fibre production. In addition, soils host important biodiversity and provide ecosystem services such as water filtration, carbon storage and nutrient cycling. However, the latest report on the state of the world's soil resources shows that about 33% of our soils are degraded worldwide. Protecting and restoring soil health is necessary for climate regulation, food security and poverty alleviation.

The Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) provide technical and policy recommendations to guide a wide range of stakeholders involved in restoring degraded soils and improving their health. They include an overview of the challenges that soils face today and provide guiding principles for addressing these threats, such as soil erosion control measures or management of soil amendments. The guidelines also include a policy section, assisting countries and other parties to promote sustainable soil management (SSM). Translations are an essential tool to improve the accessibility of SSM and find locally adapted solutions to protect the soils that nourish us!

Accessibility in several languages is essential to increase the reach of the VGSSM. "This applies not only, but above all, at the level of local implementation", writes Alenka Smerkolj, Christian Steiner and Michele Freppaz in the preface to the new translations. We are pleased to announce that in cooperation with the Soil Protection Working Group of the Alpine Convention and the Alpine Soil Partnership, the VGSSM is now available in two new Alpine languages: German and Slovenian.

With these latest translations, the VGSSM are now available in 12 languages: 

Arabic German Russian Portuguese Ukrainian English Slovenian Italian French Spanish Chinese Turkish