Yusuf Yigini, Kostiantyn Viatkin, Isabel Luotto,
PILLAR 4Towards a Global Soil Information System
GSP Pillar 4 essentially addresses the development
of an enduring and authoritative global system to
monitor and forecast the condition of the Earth’s soil
Governance and Main ActorsPILLAR 4
• GSP PA - GSP Plenary Assembly
• GSP Secretariat
• ITPS - Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils
• INSII - International Network of Soil Information Institutions
• P4WG Pillar 4 Working Group (+IUSS GSM WG)
• SDF Soil Data Facility
Pillar 4 & GloSISPILLAR 4
Owned by the member countries
Federation of National Soil Information
Co-operative design, actively involving all
Supports countries in developing their own
soil information systems.
Develop and improve capacities at national
GloSIS FederationPILLAR 4
Decentralised Resource management
Modernising existing SIS using new
More consistent and accurate global soil data
Improved visibility of national SIS
GloSIS FederationPILLAR 4
Challenging to coordinate
Complex and challenging
Difficult to overcome
political and data
Requires consensus on
rules and semantics among
Soil Data Facility
GSP Data Policy
GSP PA, GSP, SDF,
P5, P4, INSII
Global assessment of soil organic carbon
sequestration potential (GSOCseq)
January – March 2019 - Draft reviewed by GSP SOC Advisory Group:
• Prof. Dr. Keith Paustian – Colorado State University
• Prof. Dr. Peter Smith – University of Aberdeen
• Prof. Dr. Thomas Crowther – ETH Zurich
• Prof. Dr. Rattan Lal - Ohio State University
October 2018 - Draft – Technical Specifications (reviewed by ITPS)
November 2018 – INSII - Fourth Working Session of the International Network
of Soil Information Institutions
December 2018 - A revised version was produced
April – May 2019 - New version available (to be sent to INSII for final review)
June 2019 – December 2020 – Mapping process
Summary. Comments from Experts
• Key principles should govern the work:
• careful coordination of data and analytical methods;
• same data sources;
• same carbon model and assumptions within a model.
• Not feasible to have semi-independent efforts (country-driven analyses) and yield
consistent results. A modelling team is needed.
• Sensitivity and uncertainty should be established.
• Inclusion of machine learning models: improve accuracy of predictions.
• Definition of a realistic and feasible 'recommended land use and management
practices’ is the main challenge.
• December 2019: not realistic deadline
• Why Bottom-up? Current and improved ‘Land use/management’ inputs required to run
models are provided by contry-specific experts. National experts/analysts have an essential
role in determining current and feasible ‘improved’ practices; and in interpreting and
• Why Top-down? Modeling, data analsysis and Digital Mapping tasks are to be performed
by a dedicated team of regional experts following a standard protocol, supervised and
guided by Top experts.
Coordinated Technical Team
• GSP SOC Advisory Group: General technical guidance and supervision.
• Team of Regional experts: protocol development, modelling and digital mapping
operations, data analysis.
• GSP: protocol development, data harmonization, technical assistance, coordination.
• Country-specific experts: gather inputs/activity data required for C-models; discuss and
supervise preliminary and final results.
Proposal… A ‘Mixed’ technical
approach: Bottom-up / Top-down