Global Soil Partnership

Highlights archive

On 24 April 2013 at the 146 FAO Council, FAO member Countries endorsed the request from the Kingdom of Thailand in the framework of the GSP for the proclamation of the International Year of Soils 2015. The IYS will serve as a platform for raising awareness on the importance of sustainable soil management as the basis for food systems, fuel and fibre production, essential ecosystem functions and better adaptation to climate change for present and future generations.


After 12 months of intensive and participatory work, the terms of Reference of the Global Soil Partnership were finalized and submitted to the 145 FAO Council. On 5 December 2012, the Council approved the Terms of Reference of the Global Soil Partnership and recommended its immediate implementation. 


Today is a historic day for the soil science community as FAO joined the International Union of Soil Sciences in the Celebration of the World Soil Day by organizing, as part of the 145 session of the FAO Council, a side event at its Headquarters in Rome entitled “Securing healthy soils for a food secure world: a day dedicated to soils”.

Simultaneously, the FAO Council endorsed the request of declaring 5December as a UN World Soil Day. The resolution will next be discussed in the FAO Conference, before being submitted to the UN General Assembly in September 2013.


“Because it’s everywhere, we tend to overlook the fact that soil is a limited natural resource”

Soil is a finite natural resource. On a human time-scale it is non-renewable. However, despite the essential role that soil plays in the life of people, there is increasing degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate practices, burgeoning population pressures and inadequate governance over this essential resource.


The vision: Improve governance of the limited soil resources of the planet in order to guarantee healthy and productive soils for a food secure world, as well as support other essential ecosystem services, in accordance with the sovereign right of each State over its natural resources. The GSP should become an interactive and responsive partnership.

The mission: Develop awareness and contribute to the development of capacities, build on best available science, and facilitate/contribute to the exchange of knowledge and technologies among stakeholders for the sustainable management and use of soil resources.