Land & Water

Voluntary Guidelines on Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM)

The Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) were developed through an inclusive process within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP). The guidelines provide technical recommendations on how sustainable soil management can be achieved. The VGSSM are of voluntary nature and are not legally binding. They elaborate the principles outlined in the revised World Soil Charter, taking into account the evidence provided in the Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR) report. The technical principles recommended by VGSSM are the following: (1) to minimize soil erosion; (2) to enhance soil organic matter content; (3) to foster soil nutrient balance and cycles; (4) to prevent, minimize and mitigate soil salinization and alkalinization; (5) to prevent and minimize soil contamination; (6) to prevent and minimize soil acidification; (7) to preserve and enhance soil biodiversity; (8) to minimize soil sealing; (9) to prevent and mitigate soil compaction; and (10) to improve soil water management.

While these soil management principles are technically straightforward, they pose major challenges for global implementation and require an enabling  environment  to be achieved through the following government and international core actions: (1) establishing or strengthening inclusive SSM-supportive agricultural/environmental policies; (2) increasing responsible investment and positive incentives aimed at promoting SSM; (3)promoting secure land tenure rights according to the Voluntary Guidelines on the ResponsibleGovernance of Tenure; (4) fostering and strengthening targeted soil research; (5) preventing or minimizing soil degradation and restoring/rehabilitating degraded soils; (6) promoting effective education programmes; (7) ensuring adequate inclusion of SSM in extension services; (8) promotion of SSM principles and practices by agricultural extension services; (9) establishing/strengthening soil information systems; (10) fostering international cooperation/collaboration on soils; (11) promoting communication on SSM practices.


Source (link)
Locality/Farm/Site, Watershed/Basin/Landscape
Locality/ Farm/ Site, Watershed/Basin/Landscape
Biophysical approaches/tools
Soil Productivity Indices
Thematic areas
Soils - management and conservation
User Category
Policy maker, Stakeholder