SOILS ARE UNDER PRESSURE: What we expect from soils from 2012 onwards? Sustain Biodiversity Climate change Food security: food, adaptation and forrage, fiber mitigationBio-energy production Platform and material for construction Regulating, supporting Water storage and and cultural provision environmental services HELP!
Responses to Soils today• Soil data - fragmented, partly outdated (fertility, SOC,…), heterogeneous-difficult to compare, not easy accessible, not responding to users demands.• Soil capacities - increasingly a scarce resource (loss of soil expertise & skills).• Soil knowledge & research - fragmented (fertility, CC, ecology), domain of soil scientists, not accessible for use by various disciplines/for decision making, not tailored to address problems/development agendas of today.• Awareness & investments in soil management - extremely low compared to the needs that soil is a precious resources & requires special care from its users.• Soil policy: Often perceived as a 2nd-tier priority; lack of international governance body to support coordinated global action on their management.Need for compatible and coordinated soil policies – A unified and authoritative voice isneeded to better coordinate efforts and pool limited resources (for agriculture, forestry,food security, UNCCD, CBD, UNFCCC, disaster & drought management, land competition,rural & urban land use planning & development).
¿WHY THESE RESPONSES?• Dirt: it’s right under our feet, but so often we overlook it. But soils are so very, very important. They provide the basis for global food, feed, fuel and fiber production and are crucial for water availability, nutrient cycling, organic carbon stocks, and represent one-quarter of global biodiversity.• Because it’s everywhere, we tend to overlook the fact that soil is a limited natural resource. On top of that, the world’s limited area of fertile soils are increasingly under pressure from competing land uses. Soil degradation threatens this vital resource, weakening efforts to increase food production for a growing population.• Soils are often perceived as a second-tier priority and no international governance body to support coordinated global action on their management exists. A unified and authoritative voice for soil management is needed to better coordinate efforts and pool limited resources.GSP article published at the Food and Ethics Magazine
Why a Global Soil Partnership?The GSP was launched by FAO, with the support of EC-JRC, in Sept. 2011 and its Termsof reference are to be endorsed and guided by the Committee on Agriculture in May2012 to:• Improve global coordination /governance of the world’s soil resources through an intergovernmental mechanism;• Put national and regional needs in the centre.• Involve local institutions and communities to create ownership.• Catalyse effective and coordinated soils policies 200 participants; 100 countries and investments to guarantee healthy productive 120 organizations; (int./reg./ soils for food security and sustained ecosystem national institutes; soil science services. networks; NGOs; universities research;farmers associations)
GSP Proposed Pillars of Action•Promote sustainable management of soil resources for soil protection, conservationand sustainable productivity.•Encourage investment, technical cooperation, policy, education awareness andextension in soils.•Promote targeted soil research and development focusing on identified gaps andpriorities and synergies with related productive, environmental and social developmentactions.•Enhance the quantity and quality of soil dataand information: data collection (generation),analysis, validation, reporting, monitoring andintegration with other disciplines;•Harmonization of methods, measurementsand indicators for the sustainable managementand protection of soil resources;