InstitutionsFAO Highlights Role of Soils in Ensuring Food Security


24 May

FAO Highlights Role of Soils in Ensuring Food Security

Rome – The role of soils and their fertility are more important than ever to ensure food security for all, and enable the transformation of agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable,  Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Qu Dongyu said.

In remarks opening the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), Dongyu noted that “Our goal going forward is to improve and maintain the health of at least 50 % of the world’s soils by 2030, which is only possible with your strong support and solidarity.”

According to the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils comprising 27 top experts from around the world providing scientific advice, healthy soils are those “with the ability to sustain the productivity, diversity and environmental services of terrestrial ecosystems.”

“Healthy soils provide safe and nutritious food and support healthy populations and ecosystems,” said Ronald Vargas, Secretary of the GSP. Unhealthy soils not only have lost their natural levels of biodiversity and productivity, but are less resilient, so prone to further degradation, he added.

Public interest in soil health has increased since FAO coordinated the 2015 International Year of Soil and World Soil Day since 2014 as well as due to numerous GSP initiatives.

Representatives of more than 500 partners gathered for the 10th Plenary Assembly of the GSP, which since inception a decade ago has worked to raise global and local awareness of the importance of sustainable soil management and guide policies to tackle issues ranging from erosion, salinization, and pollution to biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and nutrient imbalances.

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