The Global Soil Week is an international multi-stakeholder event dedicated to the sustainable management of soils, serving as a platform for a number of actors and organisations active in soil and land governance. The event is organised by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and the second edition of the event was held in Berlin, Germany, 27-31 October 2013.
This year’s theme was “Losing Ground?”, and emphasized that soils are crucial for the Nexus of food, water and energy security. Key questions centered around what kind of governance is needed for everybody to benefit, and how to ensure that marginalized are also heard.
In his opening remarks, Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of IASS, called for substantial investments in science and scientific collaboration to ensure the nexus between soil, water, food security, natural resources and energy is addressed effectively.
Global Soil Partnership
The Global Soil Week is convened within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), which was founded by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2011 to improve global governance of the world’s soil resources.
At the time a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between GWP and FAO, and speaking at the Global Soil Week in Berlin this year, Dr. Grobicki acknowledged the benefits of cooperation between the organisations. She provided examples from integrated water resource management, and how soil and water resources are closely intertwined. Dr. Grobicki stressed that soil governance is essential for healthy water based ecosystems, and added that networks like GWP and GSP are needed:
“I would like to refer to the Sustainable Development Goals that are currently being developed, and the water-soil target that is proposed: “to reduce by 50% the amount of soil being eroded by wind and water”. We fully support such a target, and it is important to position this within the post-2015 development agenda. This needs political will. Building multi-stakeholder networks such as GWP and GSP help to develop this political will.”
The Global Soil Week 2013 brought together over 450 scientists, policy makers and practitioners from 71 countries.
Top photo: Dr. Ania Grobicki delivering her speech at the event
Bottom photo: Over 450 participants attended
Both Photos are Copyright of @IASS/Agentur Standart