GLOBAL SOIL PARTNERSHIP     Sally Bunning and Ronald Vargas   Land and Water Division, FAO Rome
Outline• Why are Soils so important?• What are the Challenges: past, present and future?• Global Soil Partnership      •  ...
1. Why are Soils so Important?
SOIL IS A LIMITED RESOURCE“Because it is everywhere, we tend to overlook the fact that soil is a limitednatural resource”....
Why Soils?       Soils are Finite on a Human Time Scale• Worldwide soil is being eroded (carried away by wind and runoff) ...
Why soils?                        Soils provide multiple Ecosystem Services      Life support services                 Pro...
What are the Challenges for Soils:  Past, Present and Future?
Soil Productivity and Degradation• Over some 50 years, world annual production of cereals coarse grains, roots and tubers,...
Soil degradation status and trends    (Global land degradation information system)• Soils of varying degradation status (l...
CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR         MANAGING SOILS            - In 50 years the world’s cultivated area has grown by...
CHANGE IN CROPLAND 1961-2009                     B
IN THE PAST 50 YEARS…….Increments in the past 50 years        +200%                                       Agricultural    ...
SYSTEMS AT RISK (SOLAW)                                 B   - A series of land and water systems now face the risk of     ...
SYSTEMS AT RISK (SOLAW)                   B
NEW FAO PARADIGM FOR AGRICULTURE                       B
NEW FAO PARADIGM FOR AGRICULTURE                       B
FUTURE CHALLENGES            Growing population demands:•Healthy soils to increase food production and ensure food securit...
FUTURE CHALLENGES                         Growing Water scarcity:Climate change scenarios predict reduction ofrainfall in ...
FUTURE CHALLENGES      Climate change adaptation and mitigation:• Under climate change scenarios, the provision of environ...
SOILS ARE UNDER INCREASING PRESSURE
SOILS CANNOT BE POSTPONED!Managing soils for climate change adaptation in Bolivia   Picture taken in Somalia, where water ...
2. Global Soil Partnership
Soils situation today: Major concern•   Soil data - fragmented, partly outdated (fertility, SOC,…), heterogeneous-    diff...
WHY THOSE ANSWERS?Soils are often perceived as a fifth-tier priority at the international decisionmaking process and also ...
Why a Global Soil Partnership?The GSP was launched by FAO, with the support of EC-JRC, in Sept. 2011 and its Termsof refer...
GSP Vision and Mission• The Vision of the GSP is the improvement of the global governance of the  limited soil resources o...
GSP Proposed Pillars of Action1. Promote sustainable management of soil resources and improved global   governance for soi...
Proposed structure of the GSP
Progress in GSP establishment• During the last COAG 23 Session,  the Committee (193 member  countries) endorsed the initia...
Progress in GSP establishment3. Networking and Actions to address soils issues in the fieldFAO is funding LOAs with a lead...
ASIAN SOIL PARTNERSHIPPriorities for Asia (Nanjing, April 2012)• to share and transfer knowledge & newtechnology within an...
MENA Soil PartnershipAmman, Jordan 1-5 April 2012
LAC Soil PartnershipMar del Plata, Argentina 16-20 April 2012
Progress in GSP establishment4. GSP Workshop "Towards Global Soil Information: activities within the   GEO Task on Global ...
SOILS AND GSP IN Rio+20 AND BEYONDSoils at Rio+20- Position soils on the sustainable development goals.- Soil Side events ...
JOIN THE GLOBAL SOIL PARTNERSHIP                     THANYOU
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Global Soil Partnership

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Global Soil Partnership’s vision - a sustainable and productive use of the soil resources of the world and sustainable agricultural production is the core message of the presentation.
It addresses the key role of soil resources for sustainable land management and sustainable development, soil as a limited resource, the impact of human activity on soil, critical soil issues in relation to food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation, soil productivity, soil degradation – status and trends, current and future challenges, future food demand, population growth, water scarcity and outlooks.
The presentation also addresses soils multiple ecosystem services and the importance of a Global Soil Partnership (GSP) – vision, mission and pillars of action. As well as the GSP establishment and the various priorities for the Regional Soil Partnerships, Asia, LAC, Mena, Africa.

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Global Soil Partnership

  1. 1. GLOBAL SOIL PARTNERSHIP Sally Bunning and Ronald Vargas Land and Water Division, FAO Rome
  2. 2. Outline• Why are Soils so important?• What are the Challenges: past, present and future?• Global Soil Partnership • Why? • Vision and mission • Pillars of action • Governance • Status of its establishment• Regional Soil Partnerships• How can EGU scientists/members contribute to the GSP?
  3. 3. 1. Why are Soils so Important?
  4. 4. SOIL IS A LIMITED RESOURCE“Because it is everywhere, we tend to overlook the fact that soil is a limitednatural resource”.On top of that, the world’s limited area of fertile soils are increasingly underpressure from competing land uses. Soil degradation threatens this vitalresource, weakening efforts to increase food production for a growingpopulation. Poor soil management, could lead to Degradation
  5. 5. Why Soils? Soils are Finite on a Human Time Scale• Worldwide soil is being eroded (carried away by wind and runoff) much faster than it is being replenished. In Somalia: an average of 100 tons/ha of topsoil per year is lost (SWALIM, 2009).• However, natural soil formation from the mineralisation of rock and breakdown of organic matter into stable humus is a very slow process - to form 2 - 2.5 cm of soils, requires approx. 1000 years.
  6. 6. Why soils? Soils provide multiple Ecosystem Services Life support services Provision services Regulating services Cultural services•The soil renewals, retains, •Soil is the basis for the •The soil plays a central role in •Soil provides support fordelivers nutrients and provides provision of food, fibre, fuel and buffering, filtering and urban settlement andphysical support for plants; medicinal products to sustain moderation of the hydrological infrastructure;•It sustains biological activity, life; cycle; •In some cultures, soils maydiversity, and productivity; •It holds and releases water for •It regulates the carbon, oxygen also be of specific spiritual or•The soil ecosystem provides plant growth and water supply. and plant nutrient cycles (such as heritage value.habitat for seeds dispersion and N, P, K, Ca, Mg and S) affecting •Soils are the basis fordissemination of the gene pool the climate and plant production; landscapes that providefor continued evolution. •Soil biodiversity contributes to recreational value. soil pest and disease regulation. Soil micro-organisms process and break-down wastes and dead organic matter (such as manure, remains of plants, fertilizers and pesticides), preventing them from building up to toxic levels, from entering water supply and becoming pollutants.
  7. 7. What are the Challenges for Soils: Past, Present and Future?
  8. 8. Soil Productivity and Degradation• Over some 50 years, world annual production of cereals coarse grains, roots and tubers, pulses and oil crops has grown from 1.8 million tonnes to 4.6 billion tonnes.• These huge gains in agricultural production and productivity were often accompanied by negative effects on agriculture’s natural resource base (externalities)• The land degradation effects are so serious that they jeopardize future productive potential: soil degradation and loss of biodiversity, salinization of irrigated areas, over- extraction of groundwater, build up of pollutants and pest resistance…..• The declining quality of land and water resources available for food, feed, fibre, timber and fuel production has major implications for future food security and sustainable livelihoods.• Many of today’s soil and crop, livestock and forest management systems are unsustainable: – extreme overuse of fertilizer in the EU  serious nitrate build up in water resources that threatens vast areas. – extreme under-use of organic and mineral fertilizer in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa  soil nutrients exported with harvested crops are not being replenished, leading to soil degradation and declining yields.
  9. 9. Soil degradation status and trends (Global land degradation information system)• Soils of varying degradation status (low to high) show increasing degradation trends (GLADIS, 2011): – Water and wind erosion – Nutrient and SOM depletion – Acidification – Salinisation – Compaction – Contamination
  10. 10. CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR MANAGING SOILS - In 50 years the world’s cultivated area has grown by 12%; the irrigated area has doubled; agricultural production has grown 2.5 to 3 times, B thanks to significant increase in yield of major crops. - But, global achievements in production in some regions are associated with degradation of land and water resources and deterioration of ecosystem goods and services. - Towards 2050, rising population and incomes are expected to call for 70% more food production globally, and up to 100% more in developing countries (relative to 2009). Yet, the distribution of land and water resources does not favour countries that need to produce more in the future. - The largest share of increased agricultural output will most likely come from intensification of production on existing agricultural land. This will require widespread adoption of
  11. 11. CHANGE IN CROPLAND 1961-2009 B
  12. 12. IN THE PAST 50 YEARS…….Increments in the past 50 years +200% Agricultural production +117% Irrigated area World’s cultivated land +12%
  13. 13. SYSTEMS AT RISK (SOLAW) B - A series of land and water systems now face the risk of progressive breakdown of their productive capacity (driven by demographic pressure and unsustainable agricultural practices).
  14. 14. SYSTEMS AT RISK (SOLAW) B
  15. 15. NEW FAO PARADIGM FOR AGRICULTURE B
  16. 16. NEW FAO PARADIGM FOR AGRICULTURE B
  17. 17. FUTURE CHALLENGES Growing population demands:•Healthy soils to increase food production and ensure food security (crop,livestock, forest, fuel), support rural development & reduce poverty. B• Diverse farming systems to maintain supporting and regulating servicesand to provide healthy diets & nutrition• Actions to reduce post harvest losses and food waste.
  18. 18. FUTURE CHALLENGES Growing Water scarcity:Climate change scenarios predict reduction ofrainfall in some semi-arid regions and erratic,unreliable rainfall in many areas. Is much of the water lost as runoff and evaporation (as above)? Or is the soil ready to capture and retain water ( as below)? Soil and vegetation management practices are key to efficient water use in crop, grazing and forest systems
  19. 19. FUTURE CHALLENGES Climate change adaptation and mitigation:• Under climate change scenarios, the provision of environmental systems to meet demands of the growing population remains a challenge• Soils play a key role in climate change adaptation (resilient, productive farming systems, efficient use of water) and mitigation (C sequestration; reduced GHG emissions) (Fuente: Hiederer, R. ,2012)
  20. 20. SOILS ARE UNDER INCREASING PRESSURE
  21. 21. SOILS CANNOT BE POSTPONED!Managing soils for climate change adaptation in Bolivia Picture taken in Somalia, where water is a pivotal resource only if soil is available
  22. 22. 2. Global Soil Partnership
  23. 23. Soils situation today: Major concern• 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 authoritativevoice is needed to better coordinate efforts and pool limited resources (foragriculture, forestry, food security, UNCCD, CBD, UNFCCC, disaster & droughtmanagement, land competition, rural & urban land use planning & development).
  24. 24. WHY THOSE ANSWERS?Soils are often perceived as a fifth-tier priority at the international decisionmaking process and also by the general public.There is urgent need to raise awareness on the crucial role of soils forresponding to today’s global challenges of food security, poverty and climatechange.Soils deserve much greater investment in all fields, including raisingawareness, developing and promoting sustainable soil management practices,supporting technical cooperation, strengthening training of new soil scientists,developing soil information and knowledge with an interdisciplinaryperspective capable of bringing the crosscutting issue of soils back into thecentre of agricultural and environmental development processes.
  25. 25. 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 200 participants; 100 countries policies and investments to guarantee 120 organizations; (int./reg./ healthy productive soils for food security and national institutes; soil science sustained ecosystem services. networks; NGOs; universities research;farmers associations)
  26. 26. GSP Vision and Mission• The Vision of the GSP is the improvement of the global 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 sustain other ecosystem services on which our livelihoods and societies depend including water regulation and supply, climate regulation, biodiversity conservation and other cultural services.• The Mission of the GSP is to develop capacities, build on best available science, and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technologies between stakeholders, for sustainable management of soil resources at all levels with a view to enhancing food security, protecting ecosystem services, and contributing to poverty alleviation in an era of increasing human demands and climate change.
  27. 27. GSP Proposed Pillars of Action1. Promote sustainable management of soil resources and improved global governance for soil protection and sustainable productivity;2. Encourage investment, technical cooperation, policy, education awareness and extension in soils;3. Promote targeted soil research and development focusing on identified gaps, priorities and synergies among economic/productive, environmental and social dimensions;4. Enhance the quality and availability of soil data and information: collection, analysis, validation, reporting, monitoring, integration with other disciplines;5. Harmonize and establish voluntary guidelines of methods, measurements and indicators for soil protection and sustainable management.
  28. 28. Proposed structure of the GSP
  29. 29. Progress in GSP establishment• During the last COAG 23 Session, the Committee (193 member countries) endorsed the initiative of the establishment of the Global Soil Partnership, and welcomed the update provided by the Secretariat.• The Terms of Reference are under final review and adjustment by countries.
  30. 30. Progress in GSP establishment3. Networking and Actions to address soils issues in the fieldFAO is funding LOAs with a leading institution in the regions to set up institutionalnetworks as basis of the Regional Soil Partnerships and start a process ofdeveloping soil information systems in which capacity development is priority:•Asia: coordinated by Soil Science institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 1st meeting -16countries & many institutions  Nanjing Communiqué (11 Feb 2012)• MENA: coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture Jordan and ICARDA; 1st meeting earlyApril; in addition to an Amman communiqué agreed to develop an FAO TCP project• Latin America: coordinated by EMBRAPA, Brazil, & Argentina; 1st meeting 16-20 April2012;.• Africa: to be developed in consultation with TSBF-CIAT, ICRAF , Afnet network and otherpartners The RSPs will prioritise and implement the GSP plans of actions, while addressing local needs with local experts and fostering south-south cooperation and collaboration (e.g. Globalsoilmap.net, Global soil forum etc.)
  31. 31. ASIAN SOIL PARTNERSHIPPriorities for Asia (Nanjing, April 2012)• to share and transfer knowledge & newtechnology within and beyond the region• to provide soil information to all those withinterest in sustainable use of soils and landresources• to build consistent and updated Asian soilsinformation systems and start to contributeto global soil information through initiativessuch as GSM• to train new generations of experts in soilscience and land management Nanjing, China 8-11 February 2012
  32. 32. MENA Soil PartnershipAmman, Jordan 1-5 April 2012
  33. 33. LAC Soil PartnershipMar del Plata, Argentina 16-20 April 2012
  34. 34. Progress in GSP establishment4. GSP Workshop "Towards Global Soil Information: activities within the GEO Task on Global Soil Data” 20-23 March 2012, FAO HQ Rome. The workshop aim was to review the state of the art of tools and techniques for mapping soils at global and regional scales as an input for defining future activities for implementation under the GSP. Soil data/information user demands were also reviewed.
  35. 35. SOILS AND GSP IN Rio+20 AND BEYONDSoils at Rio+20- Position soils on the sustainable development goals.- Soil Side events to raise awareness and promote the importance of soils forsustainable development.Beyond Rio+20• Recognition by UN System of the World Soil Day (5th December) and firstcelebration this year organizing a workshop ”Managing Living Soils”.• Implementation of the first Global Soil Week 2012, November 18-22 2012.• Recognition of the International Year of Soils 2015.• Implementation of Plan of actions in the different pillars at field level.
  36. 36. JOIN THE GLOBAL SOIL PARTNERSHIP THANYOU

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