A policy brief by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam, titled ‘Grounding the post-2015 Development Agenda: Options for the protection of our precious soil and land resources,' highlights the crucial roles that soils and land will play in achieving at least nine of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and suggests options for monitoring, follow-up, and review of soil- and land-related targets.
22 April 2015: A policy brief by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam, titled ‘Grounding the post-2015 Development Agenda: Options for the protection of our precious soil and land resources,’ highlights the crucial roles that soils and land will play in achieving at least nine of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and suggests options for monitoring, follow-up, and review of soil- and land-related targets.
The brief was launched during the 3rd Global Soil Week in Berlin, Germany, by IASS and its partners.
Jes Weigelt, Project Leader of the Global Soil Forum at IASS, introduced the brief during a dialogue session co-organized with Biovision, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, the European Environment Agency, the Global Forest Coalition, the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, the Millennium Institute, the German Federal Environment Agency and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), among other partners.
Weigelt outlined the nine SDGs as: SDG 1 on ending poverty; SDG 2 on food security; SDG 3 on healthy lives for all; SDG 5 on gender equality; SDG 6 on water for all; SDG 7 on energy for all; SDG 11 on cities; SDG 13 on combating climate change; and SDG 15 on protecting terrestrial ecosystems. He further discussed some relevant soil- and land-related targets linked to these goals, including calls for: ensuring access to sufficient food for all, and for doubling the agricultural productivity of small-scale food producers under SDG 2; and substantially increasing the share of renewable energy, which includes biomass, in the global energy mix, under SDG 7.
The policy brief highlights explicit references to land and soils in the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), and asserts that, “it is fundamental that soils and land remain integrated within the final set of SDGs and related targets.”
During a dialogue session, as well as plenary discussions to discuss proposals contained in the brief, Global Soil Week delegates recognized that while soil and land resources underpin the achievement of multiple goals and targets, this role also presents a great challenge since the SDGs will place increasing – and at times competing – demands on soils and land. They noted that the broad scope of soil- and land-related targets in the proposed SDGs requires moving beyond research and policy silos to ensure integrated approaches to address the competing pressures associated with the protection of these resources, and to take measures to protect the rights of the most vulnerable who depend on them. In conclusion, Weigelt expressed the commitment of the scientific community “to continue working towards an integrated implementation of the SDGs for soils and land.”
The IASS policy brief will be presented at a high-level event, titled ‘Follow-Up and Review Mechanisms for Natural Resource Management and Governance to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,’ taking place in New York, US from 12-13 May 2015. [Global Soil Week News Story] [Publication: Grounding the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Options for the Protection of Our Precious Soil and Land Resources] [IISD RS Coverage of the 3rd Global Soil Week] [Land Policy and Practice Story on Role of Soil Carbon in Uniting Post-2015 Land, Soil Science and Climate Agendas]