The International Network of Black Soils: towards the Symposium
Yuxin Tong, GSP secretariat
of Black Soils
U S, Mollisols
Russian and Ukraine,
Black soils are high in soil organic carbon
Black soils constitute an important source of food for many
countries and for the world in general, and are often recognized
as inherently productive and fertile soils.
3.4 2.7 1.7 1.4
Argentina Russian Ukraine Canada total
Maize + Wheat + Rice + Soybeans
o The black soils in northeast China
account for 1/3 of China’s commodity
grain and 1/5 of China’s total grain.
o Black soils in the United States accounts
for 21% of the country’s territory.
o The total area of black soils accounts for
52.6% of arable lands in the Russian.
o Black soils in Argentina account for 32%
of the territory.
Their significant soil organic carbon (SOC) content
makes them sensitive as potential sinks and sources of
Isohumisols, Songnen Plain. Northeast China
Water erosion Wind erosion
Decrease in Soil DepthSOC dynamics in Heilongjiang Province
Mollisols, Illinois, USA
Where does the C go? In the atmosphere? How much of it?
Soil organic matter decreased by
35.6-52.5% in Argentina.
The amount of SOC in Russia and
Ukraine have declined by 40%.
Decrease in Soil Depth
Black soils remain very sensitive to anthropogenic intervention. They are prone
to severe degradation such as loss of SOC, but also:
Guiqing Han; Ivan Vasenev; Miguel Taboada
Loss of stable aggregates
Salinization or sodification
Soil nutrient unbalance
Soil biodiversity losses
Anthropogenic soil acidity
• Considering the great importance of black soils and their risk of severe
degradation, it has become crucial to promote their conservation and
• And to unlock their potential in the longer term to support food security
while protecting the environment and mitigating climate change.
On the basis of recommendation of the FAO’s Global Soil Partnership
(GSP) on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the
discussions and decisions from the Global Symposium of Soil Organic
Carbon, the International Network of Black Soil (INBS) has been
launched in Rome on 21th of March 2017.
Launch of INBS
Mr. Guiqing Han, Heilongjiang Academy
of Agricultural Sciences, China
Side event: Launch of the International Network of Black Soils (INBS)
Ms. Skye Wills, United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA), USA
Mr. Miguel Taboada, INTA,
Mr. Ivan Vasenev, Timiryazev Academy,
INBS initiative was submitted by China
China has 1.03 million km2
China expressed their will to cooperate
with black soil countries
towards sustainable soil management
for food security and climate change
Definition of black soils
• The preliminary definition of black soils under the International Network
of Black Soils is:
• Black soils are defined as Chernozems, Kastanozems and Phaeozems
based on the World Reference Base (WRB) and Mollisols by the US Soil
Soil types Soil classification
Mollisols US Soil Taxonomy
National black soil
Chernozems Russian classification
Isohumisols China classification
Chernozemic Canada classification
Chernozems Ukraine classification
Black soil distribution in the world based on the WRB,
includes Chernozems, Kastanozems and Phaeozems.
Provide a platform for black soil countries to discuss common issues and
develop governance guidelines related to the conservation and sustainable
management of black soils
Develop a report on the global status, current production and challenges in
Foster collaboration among these countries towards promoting the
sustainable use and management of black soils and identify relevant
Serve as a platform for incorporating real local challenges for knowledge
sharing and technical cooperation on black soils management
How will it work?
• The network is established under the framework of the Global Soil
• Countries with black soils, through their national soil partners, are
invited to join this network under clear terms of reference.
• The ITPS of the GSP will provide the scientific and technical advice
23 countries have joined the INBS: Armenia, Austria, Argentina, Brazil,
Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Indonesia, Kyrgystan, Malaysia,
Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Romania, Russian, Slovakia,
Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and USA.
Top 20 countries by area
of black soil in the world
78657 65019 62276 60283 53475 45521 34524 30997 30718 29635 27381
Chernozems + Kastanozems + Phaeozems (km2)
Countries with black soils in the EU
Chernozems + Kastanozems + Phaeozems
Total: 140,069 km2
Global Symposium on Black Soils
The International Symposium on Black
Soils & the 1st Plenary of International
Network of Black Soils (ISBS18) will take
place in Harbin on 10 - 12 September 2018.
The Symposium will discuss and compile the
information available in the Concept note
and the Framework of INBS.
The Symposium will consolidate future
cooperation between the members of the
INBS, and action plans for the sustainable
development of black soils with a focus on
soil organic carbon, soil nutrients, soil
erosion and soil health.
Thank You for Your Attention
• You are all welcome to the Global Symposium on
Black Soils in Harbin.
• For the benefit of this black treasure of agriculture.