Representatives from 60 countries participated in the First Global Soil Week.
Photo: P. Chiussi/IASS.

28.11.2012

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The First Global Soil Week brought together around 400 representatives of science, politics and civil society to discuss the threat to the precious resource of soil and adopt an agenda for action towards sustainable land use.

It is estimated that 24 billion tons of fertile arable land world-wide is lost through erosion each year. At the same time, urbanisation is causing the extent of arable land across the world, which accounts for a mere twelve percent of the Earth’s surface, to further decrease. But without fertile soil, neither world hunger nor climate change can be successfully combated. This is precisely the context that the First Global Soil Week sought to draw attention to. It was organised by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and held in Berlin/Germany in co-operation with several German institutions and UN organisations from the 18th to the 22nd November 2012.

The event brought together around 400 representatives of science, politics and civil society coming from 60 countries to discuss the threat to the precious resource of soil and adopt an agenda for action towards sustainable land use. The topics discussed ranged from soil contamination, soil degradation and urbanisation challenges through payments for ecosystem services and markets for soil organic carbon to soil research challenges, natural resource governance and global soil policy.

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