Глобальное почвенное партнерство

Launch of the Chilean Soil Laboratory Network (RENALASCH)

The Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) was established in 2017 to build and strengthen the capacity of laboratories in soil analysis and to respond to the need for harmonizing soil analytical data. Harmonization of methods, units, data and information is critical to (1) provide reliable and comparable information between countries and projects; (2) allow the generation of new harmonized soil data sets; and (3) support evidence-based decision making for sustainable soil management. In order to better downscale its activities and to adapt them to the local context, the GLOSOLANis structured into Regional and National Soil Laboratory Networks. National Soil Laboratory Networks represent the first level of the GLOSOLAN pyramid and are established by grouping together soil laboratories operating in the same country, under the leadership of the National Reference Laboratory.



The Chilean Soil Laboratory Network (RENALASCH) was launched on August 3, 2022 through a hybrid event attended by 58 stakeholders including laboratory managers and national soil experts, who attended from the Atacama region to the Los Lagos region. The event was opened by Mr. Erick Zagal, member of the Technical Advisory Commission, who briefly welcomed the authorities and audience, and related the origins of the national network. Mr.Carlos Saavedra, the Rector of the University of Concepción, officially opened the ceremony in the name of the University of Concepción and was followed by the sub-secretary of Agriculture, Mr. José Guajardo, who remarked that the establishment of this network would help manage climate change and advance in achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.The vice-president of the Chilean Soil Science Society, Ms. Yasna Tapia, emphasized the relevance of the creation of the national network in the frame of GLOSOLAN and of the adoption of public policies that aim to promote sustainable practices for soils. The coordinator of GLOSOLAN, Ms. Lucrezia Caon, from the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) of FAO, recalled that National Soil Laboratory Networks (NASOLANs) allow GLOSOLAN's activities to be scaled down while making GLOSOLAN aware of the needs and priorities of Chilean laboratories. This would allow GLOSOLAN and GSP/FAO to include and address these requests in their global and regional strategies and work plans.

The launch ceremony of RENALASCHalso included the participation of the head of the Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory, the National Reference Laboratory for Chile to GLOSOLAN, Ms. Maria de los Angeles Sepúlveda, and the Chair of GLOSOLAN, Ms. Miriam Ostinelli. Ms. Sepúlveda introduced participants to the objectives, challenges and possibilities of RENALASCH while Ms. Ostinelli stressed that the importance of RENALASCH is ensuring and enhancing quality control in soil laboratories. In the short term, RENALASCH aims to define its governance as suggested in the guidelines of GLOSOLAN on how to establish a NASOLAN. As part of this goal, the network aims to create topic-specific commissions tasked to:

  • Coordinate and supervise the harmonization of methods at the national level;
  • Provide training on request (e.g. on the topics of soil sampling, quality control, preparation of reference samples), and;
  • -    Promote the organization of regular inter-laboratory comparison exercises (PTs) for physical and biological analyses. In this regard, national PTs on chemical analyses have already been organized as part of the rehabilitation of degraded soils programme organized by Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, SAG.


With the support of GLOSOLAN, RENALASCH will facilitate the implementation of the above-mentioned activities and improve communication and soil data exchange between laboratories at the national level. This is considered essential since most of the laboratories are located in the central region of the country and they currently work independently, ignoring what other laboratories do. At the same time, the network will identify laboratories’ needs including the acquisition of skills in using soil spectroscopy, and the laboratory modernization in terms of organization, equipment, infrastructure, and health and safety.

The event continued with a demonstration on the measurement of bulk density in the field, and an open discussion on the importance of harmonizing soil chemical and biological methodologies of analysis at the national level. The organizers closed the event by thanking all participating institutions at the event for supporting the establishment of RENALASCH and by recalling its importance to support Chilean laboratories in improving their performance and producing harmonized data to use in national, regional and global products.