The 5th session of the Plenary Assembly of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) agreed to launch the Global Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC) Map at this year’s World Soil Day celebrations.
Delegates endorsed three knowledge sharing initiatives: the Global Soil Information System; the Global Network of Soil Laboratories; and the International Network of Black Soils.
23 June 2017: The 5th session of the Plenary Assembly of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) agreed to launch the Global Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC) Map at this year’s World Soil Day celebrations on 5 December. The GSOC Map seeks to contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3 on land degradation neutrality, specifically by indicator 15.3.1, which measures the proportion of degraded land over the total land area.
The Plenary Assembly took place from 20-22 June 2017, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in Rome, Italy. Delegates also endorsed three knowledge sharing initiatives: the Global Soil Information System; the Global Network of Soil Laboratories; and the International Network of Black Soils, which aims to increase knowledge about the world’s most fertile agricultural soils, which are characterized by their high carbon content.
These initiatives fall under Pillar 4 of the GSP’s Programme of Action, which calls for the establishment of various soil information components, including the International Network of Soil Information Institutions, a GSP Soil Data Facility, and a GSP Soil Data Policy.
On the sidelines of the meeting, a seminar took place to launch implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM), which were approved by the FAO Council in December 2016. The discussions focused on the prevention and reduction of soil contamination, which is one of the 10 soil threats addressed in the VGSSM. Delegates also reviewed the latest scientific evidence from different countries and regions as part of preparations for the Global Symposium on Soil Contamination, which is scheduled to take place in 2018.
During its review of the work of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), the Plenary Assembly considered the outcomes of a global assessment of the impact of plant protection products on soil functions and soil ecosystems. The ITPS is set to convene a global symposium on soil pollution in March 2018, as part of ongoing work on the VGSSM. [FAO Press Release on the GSP Plenary Assembly] [Plenary Assembly Working Documents] [UN Press Release]