Implementing the Nexus: managing tradeoffs for soil and land in the SDGs
At the Nexus 2014 Conference at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, IASS and UNCCD made the case for considering soil as underpinning resource for water, energy and food security.
In their side-event, which took place on 5 March 2014, the management of competing demands for soil and land resources took a central role. Alexander Müller, Senior Fellow at the IASS, highlighted the challenge posed by soil and land degradation to sustainable development. The world is losing approximately 24 billion tons of fertile top soil every year because of wind or water erosion. The development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a Post-2015 framework offers the opportunity to place soils and land on the global development agenda. These resources underpin key ecosystem services such as the provision of renewable energy, food and water which are entrenched in the discussions for the development of the SDGs and are expected to become standalone goals. However, interlinkages between these services pose the challenge of managing tradeoffs as well as considering implications for land use and land use changes. He presented a “Diamond Approach to Implementing the Nexus” which can help consider the natural resources base of the nexus (water, landsoil, biodiversity) and the tradeoffs for the provision of the services under the WEF and Climate Security Nexus.
Please find further information on this workshop in our “Event” section or click here →
To download Alexander Müller’s PowerPoint presentation, please click here ↓
To download the report of the session, please click here ↓
The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted the Nexus 2014: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference on March 3-7, 2014. The aim was to bring together researchers and practitioners working in government, civil society and business, focusing on the nexus approach. Building on the Water, Food and Energy Nexus Conference held in Bonn, Germany in 2011, this Conference aimed to address the connected, but distinct, relationships between water, food, climate, energy, security, sustainability and development.
Ivonne Lobos Alva
Global Soil Forum
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)
Phone: +49 331 28822-431
IASS takes a stake in the development of pro-poor strategies in land management
67 percent of Africa’s land is subject to degradation. This has reduced crop yields and puts at risk food security and economic development. Poor rural populations are particularly affected as they largely depend on the land for their livelihoods. Climate change is expected to increase their vulnerability even more.
But how can land degradation be mitigated or reversed? How can livelihoods of the rural poor be improved? A new joint research project by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) is addressing these questions. With a focus on Tanzania and Malawi, the project “AGORA: Acting Together now for Pro-poor Strategies against Soil and Land Degradation” will explore how to:
- Enable land and resource users to apply sustainable land management (SLM) strategies produced through multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs)
- Promote and establish a process by which marginalized groups are empowered to work together with decision-makers and other stakeholders to design more equitable solutions to land degradation and development problems
- Provide evidence to decision-makers and facilitate its use to take better informed decisions.
- New pathways through transdisciplinary research
AGORA approaches the issue in a comprehensive way at the landscape level – this is unique and provides avenues for addressing the limitations and failures of past efforts that addressed land degradation. The project will capitalize on the existing knowledge on sustainable land management (SLM) and at the same time focus on the barriers to the adoption of SLM practices. By working together with different stakeholders, the political, social and economic constraints under which SLM practices are applied will be identified. Biophysical aspects will be integrated as well through assessments of the land degradation, an analysis of current and future climate conditions.
To raise awareness of decision makers and policy makers, AGORA will conduct an economic assessment of ecosystem services. This will demonstrate the costs of inaction on SLM. This will contribute to the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative.
The IASS will be involved in the design of several outcomes and ensure the transdisciplinarity in research approaches. The IASS will also provide expertise and carry out
- The analysis of the implementation of government policies on land-use as well as of the relations between all stakeholders in the project area in rural Tanzania and Malawi
- The design, implementation and use of multi-stakeholder platforms to vision future scenarios for landscapes, integrate biophysical modeling with local understanding and identify governance scenarios for addressing challenges to sustainable land management.
- The use of analytical and participatory tools for deploying transdisciplinary research on sustainable land management in the project area
Project duration: 3 years (March 2014-March 2017)
- International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
- Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI),Tanzania
- Total Land Care (TLC), Malawi
- Bunda College (BC) at Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR), Malawi
Coordinator Global Soil Forum
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)
Phone: +49 331 28822-319
Global Soil Week participants agree on common statement on land and soils for the Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda process:
Participants met on the last day of the GSW2013 to deepen the debate in the workshop titled “Targets and Indicators for Land and Soils in the SDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda” hosted by UNCCD – United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, GLOBALANDS Project (Ecologic Institute, IINAS, Öko-Institut), EC – European Commission, FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, UBA – Federal Environment Agency, IASS – Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies.
Based on a proposal developed by a working group for discussion at the GSW 2013 participants discussed the opportunities to include land and soils in the SDGs and Post-2015 Development Agenda and which aspects should be prioritized. Participants agreed, in personal capacity, on the following common results of the discussion and called for their consideration in further discussions:
- By 2030 we have the same amount of biologically and economically productive land including soil and its ecosystem services as we had in 2000 (GLASOD-Report and Millennium Ecosystem Assessment).
- To achieve this, we have to reduce land and soil degradation and increase land restoration/rehabilitation, both through appropriate sustainable management practices.
- This needs to take place in the context of sustainable development and in support of the implementation of international environmental agreements, such as the Aichi targets and the Ramsar Convention (forests, protected areas, wetlands).
Participants of the workshop were:
|Alexander Müller||Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)|
|Almut Jering||German Federal Environment Agency (UBA)|
|Andrea Koch||United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney|
|Bettina Rudloff||German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)|
|Charlotte Beckh||Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)|
|Christine Priessner||Leuphana University, Lüneburg|
|Ciro Gardi||Joint Research Center, European Commission (JRC-EC)|
|Damien Field||The University of Sydney, Australia|
|Deborah Bossio||Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)|
|Emmanuel Seck||Environment and Development NGO (ENDA)|
|Frank Glante||German Federal Environment Agency (UBA)|
|Franziska Wolff||Öko Institute|
|Heiner Benking||Council on Global Issues|
|Ivonne Lobos Alva||Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)|
|Jaap Tuinstra||TCB Soil Protection Technical Committee, Netherlands|
|Jürgen Diekmann||Ausgleichsstiftung Landwirtschaft und Umwelt|
|Knut Ehlers||German Federal Environment Agency (UBA)|
|Laura Bertha Reyes Sanchez||Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México|
|Lena Bloemertz||University of Basel, Switzerland|
|Luc Gnacadja||Former UNCCD Executive Secretary|
|Luca Montanarella||Joint Research Center, European Commission (JRC-EC), Chair ITPS|
|Maria de Lourdes Mondoca Santos||Embrapa Soils -The National Center of Soil Research|
|Patrice Burger||CARI-Drynet Network-ReSad Network|
|Peter Kuikman||Wageningen University, Netherlands|
|Richard Thomas||United Nations University|
|Ruta Landgrebe||Ecologic Institute|
|Sandra Naumann||Ecologic Institute|
|Sasha Alexander||United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)|
|Sergio Zelaya||United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)|
|Stephanie Wunder||Ecologic Institute|
|Thomas Caspari||ISRIC – World Soil Information|
|Uriel Safriel||The Hebrew University of Jerusalem|
|Uwe Fritsche||International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy (IINAS)|
European Regional Soil Partnership established
European partners to the Global Soil Partnership, an initiative of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), met at the Global Soil Week 2013 in Berlin and decided to establish a European Regional Soil Partnership. Together with the Regional Soil Partnerships in Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Near East it will serve as a hub to channel regional soil issues to the Global Soil Partnership.
The Regional Soil Partnerships should provide guidance on regional goals and priorities and the required implementation mechanisms. In particular, they should facilitate links with national and local soil management programmes and activities with a view to strengthening work on soils and to develop synergies with other relevant initiatives and activities.
The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra (Italy) was appointed as the Secretariat of the European Soil Partnership. Furthermore, the establishment of a Sub-regional Soil Partnership within the European Soil Partnership was supported. The Secretariat of Eurasian Partnership would be based in Moscow (Russian Federation).
At the same workshop, an ad-hoc Steering Committee for the European Regional Soil Partnership was established. The members are:
- European Commission (Joint Research Centre)
- Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, Slovakia
- Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Germany
- Eurasian Centre for Food Security (ECFS), Russian Federation
- European Soil Bureau Network (ESBN)
The launch meeting of the Eurasian Sub-Regional Partnership will take place in Moscow on 20 November 2013.
European members of the Global Soil Partnership that signed the communiqué:
European Commission: Luca Marmo, Luca Montanarella
Euro Geo Surveys Representative: Rainer Baritz
Eurasian Centre for Food Security: Pavel Krasilnikov
UUPOP: Jaroslava Sobocka
European Soil Bureau Network: Allan Lilly
Aarhus Universitet: Mogeuss H. Greve
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies: Jes Weigelt, Ivonne Lobos Alva
European Society for Soil Conservation: Frank Glante
Ending soon: Exhibition “Soil speaks” displayed in Berlin until 15 November 2013
- 25 October -15 November 2013
- Open: Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Location: Heinrich Böll Foundation, Schumannstr. 8 , 10117 Berlin
- free entrance
If the soil could speak, it would recount the history of 1 Million landless Indians who are fighting for their rights to their land. Since 1989, these tens of thousands of Indians were mobilized by the massed based popular movement Ekta Parishad and have been demonstrating regularly throughout India. They demand for land reforms and adequate access to soils, water and forests from their government. More than 10,000 villages have taken part in the mass movement in the past years. Many of them rely on the food that they have cultivated themselves. However, their access to essential resources is not guaranteed by right of ownership and usage. The danger of losing their access to fertile land, potable water and the treasures of the forests is ever present.
The exhibition ‘Soil speaks’ tells of the struggle of a landless people for their rights. Through photographs, art installations, comic drawings and a documentary film, the exhibition shows what civic activism looks like in the biggest democracy in the world. This exhibition is organized jointly by the IASS Potsdam and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
The opening of the exhibition was embedded in the “Soil Day”, organised by the Heinrich Böll Foundation on 25 October 2013. The photos show the plenary, exhibition and the opening with Ramesh Sharma, campaign coordinator for Ekta Parishad.
Let’s talk about soil in Saarbrücken: Lokaler Aktionstag “Bodenlose Zukunft?”
Let’s talk about soil in Saarbrücken! Anlässlich der internationalen Global Soil Week in Berlin veranstaltete das Netzwerk Entwicklungspolitik im Saarland e.V. (NES) am 26. Oktober 2013 den lokalen Aktionstag “Bodenlose Zukunft?”.
Neben Mitmach-Veranstaltungen organisierte das NES gemeinsam mit zahlreichen Partnern eine Diskussionsrunde. Gemeinsam mit Vertretern des Ministeriums für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz des Saarlandes, vom Stiftungslehrstuhl für Nachhaltige Entwicklung, Gütegemeinschaft Kompost sowie einer Bio-Landwirtin diskutierte Franziska Linz vom IASS Potsdam (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies) über die Folgen von Bodendegradierung für die Gesellschaft. Im Mittelpunkt standen die Fragen, welche Auswirkungen ökonomische, gesellschaftliche und politische Rahmenbedingungen auf die Bodenbewirtschaftung haben und welche Rolle unsere täglichen Konsumentscheidungen spielen.
Als sehr bereichernd empfanden die Teilnehmer ein Brainstorming, warum bisher so wenig über den Boden geredet wird und mit welchen Methoden das Bewusstsein in den verschiedenen gesellschaftlichen Gruppen gesteigert werden kann.
IASS and Joint Research Center of the European Commission sign Collaboration Agreement
On the occasion of the Global Soil 2013, Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and Maria Betti, Director of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) of the European Commission, signed a 5-year Collaboration Agreement that aims to foster the cooperation of the two institutes in the field of sustainable soil management.
The main objectives of the Collaboration Agreement are:
- to collaborate in the field of soil governance, sustainable soil management, the reduction of soil degradation; and
- to foster the knowledge exchange between decision takers in society and scientists on issues relating to sustainable soil management.
In addition, IASS and IES will closely cooperate in the context of the European Regional Soil Partnership which was founded during the Global Soil Week 2013.
Stop the impervious coverage of the soil!
Restore the fertility of our urban soil!
To launch the 2nd Global Soil Week (27-31 October 2013), IASS Executive Director Professor Klaus Töpfer, Volkert Engelsman from the “Save Our Soils” campaign and environmental activist Vandana Shiva broke up sealed soil at Potsdamer Platz and planted it with vegetables. Through their symbolic action they drew attention to the serious consequences caused by the increased impervious coverage of the soil: soils are vanishing that are vitally important for producing food, absorbing and filtering water, storing carbon and – particularly in cities – filtering pollutants from the air.
“Given current growth rates, global urban areas will double throughout the world during the next 20 years, which is equivalent to sealing ground the size of South Africa. This is why a key to sustainable soil use can be found in the urban sphere. We must limit the progressive sealing and find ways to make soil fertile again so that we can create uninterrupted resource cycles,” said IASS Executive Director Professor Klaus Töpfer.
In the EU 200 m2 of ground is already sealed per inhabitant. In Germany alone, a total of 27 hectares of sealed ground is added daily, which in particular is caused by the expansion of the transport network. In order to restore just 2.5 cm of degraded soil requires up to 500 years.
During the joint symbolic de-sealing action, Volker Engelsman, initiator of the “Save Our Soils” campaign, declared: “There is very much a need to inform and educate people about the soil issue. The “Save Our Soils” campaign, which was initiated by Soil & More together with the FAO and many other partners, provides an important contribution here and also shows where solutions can be found.” Vandana Shiva, environmental activist and a patron of the campaign, warned: “The destruction of soil concerns all of us, but the countries in the south are already worst affected by the consequences. That’s why we must unite together in the worldwide struggle to prevent soil degradation. Millions of organic farmers are already making a considerable contribution to saving soils.”
Based on the success of 2012, the IASS is hosting the 2nd Global Soil Week under the motto “Losing Ground?” along with representatives from politics, research, the private sector and civil society. The event is being held in Berlin from 27 to 31 October. With its Global Soil Week, the IASS offers a platform for anchoring the protection of soils in the Global sustainability Goals (SDGs). National and international partners include the European Commission, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). More than 400 participants from 70 countries participate this year.
For more information, please contact
Head of Press & Communication
+49 331 288 22-340 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The background: Sealed soil = Lost soil
Soil sealing is primarily concentrated in cities: In 2006, around 47% of urban land in Germany was sealed, this corresponds to 5% of the total land area of Germany.
With every square metre of sealed soil we are losing ground – our basis for:
• food production
• ability to absorb water
• absorption of carbon
• filtering of air pollutants
If land and, thus, the underlying soil is permanently covered by an impermeable artificial material such as, for example, asphalt or concrete, it is sealed. Non-visible constructions beneath the land surface are also a type of soil sealing. This includes cables, canals, foundations and heavily compacted soil. In order to seal land, the uppermost soil layer, which provides most of the ecosystem services, is generally removed. The soil beneath is then compacted inhibiting its ability to store water. Since the soil removed is often not used at another site, soil sealing literally results in soil loss.
For more information, please download our Factsheet on Soil Sealing →
The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative:
A global initiative for sustainable land management
The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) is an initiative for a global study on the economic benefits of land and land based ecosystems. The initiative highlights the value of sustainable land management and provides a global approach for analysis of the economics of land degradation. It aims to make economics of land degradation an integral part of policy strategies and decision making by increasing the political and public awareness of the costs and benefits of land and land-based ecosystems.
See the ELD introductory film: The value of soil
Further information and case studies can be found on the ELD Initiative website.
ELD participation at the Global Soil Week 2013
The ELD-Secretariat in close cooperation with the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn will coordinate two sessions during the Global Soil Week. These include:
Monday, 28 October 2013, 14:00-17:00
Dialogue Sessions: Focus I – Understand Soils in the Nexus
3. International Soil Policy & Sustainable Development Goals
3.1 Economics of Land Degradation
Wednesday, 30 October 2013, 09:30-12:30
Dialogue Sessions: Focus III – Create Pathways to Societal Change
3. International Soil Policy and Sustainable Development Goals
3.6 How can we mobilize societal change to address land degradation and reduce poverty in the developing world: The role for local policy actions
Economics of Land Degradation – Secretariat
at Sector Project to Combat Desertification, GIZ
Godesberger Allee 119
T + 49 228 24934-117
F + 49 228 24934-215
Soils and Land in the SDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
EC-UBA-IASS together with experts from the communities of soils, land, science, policy and NGOs, are proposing a sustainable development goal to achieve a Land Degradation Neutral World and have developed a set of targets and sub-targets.
Based on the decision at Rio+20 to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs), the agreement to strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world (LDNW) in the context of sustainable development (“The Future We Want”, A/RES/66/288), and following up on the discussions held at the first Global Soil Week 2012; a workshop was held at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany, with the title: “Putting Soils and Land on the SDGs Agenda: defining potential indicators”. The aim was to address the role of soils and land in the process of the development of the SDGs with a focus on a LDNW. The participants of the workshop have continued working together and involving further stakeholders to develop the ideas discussed and prepared a paper which includes a proposal on a set of illustrative LDNW targets and sub-targets of physical and socio-economic nature.
To read the condensed version of the paper place click here
Stakeholders from around the world will come together at the second Global Soil Week “Losing Ground?” (27-31 October 2013, in Berlin) within the framework of a session titled “Soils and Land in the Sustainable Development Goals – A proposal for global targets and indicators” to develop a collaborative process to join forces amongst current initiatives to put soil and land resources on the global development agenda.
Launch Workshop: “Towards a European Regional/Sub-regional Soil Partnership”
31 Oct 2013
14:00 – 18:00
FAO and IASS invite you to the Launch Workshop: “Towards a European Regional/Sub-regional Soil Partnership” to take place on the 31 October 2013 in the context of the 2nd Global Soil Week “Losing Ground” in Berlin, Germany.
As per the Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the establishment of Regional (or Sub-regional) Soil Partnerships constitutes an essential step in the facilitation and effective implementation of GSP agreed actions. Activities in this regard are under way, as most regions have established respective soil partnerships. Currently, solid progress has been made particularly in Asia, Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean and the Near East.
The Regional Soil Partnership should provide guidance on regional goals and priorities and the required implementation mechanisms. In particular, they should facilitate links with national and local soil management programs and activities with a view to strengthening work on soils and to develop synergies with other relevant initiatives and activities.
The objective of this workshop is to further explore the discussions on building European Regional/Sub-regional Soil Partnerships in the framework of the Global Soil Partnership.
The event will take place on 31 October at 14:00 hours, at the Scandic Hotel in Berlin. Please send confirmation of participation to: GSP-Secretariat@fao.org
Final workshop of the IASS-IFAD project “Pro-Poor Resource Governance under Changing Climates”
Climate change aggravates the already existing vulnerability of poor rural people. In order to make livelihoods more resilient to climate change, both social and environmental dimensions of vulnerability must be addressed. Therefore, pro-poor adaptation to climate change can imply changes in how natural resources are governed, in other words, who accesses and benefits from these resources and under which conditions.
These were the main conclusions drawn in the final workshop of the joint research project between IASS and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) “Pro-Poor Resource Governance under Changing Climates”. With the objective of bringing empirical evidence for the discussion of pro-poor adaptation, IASS and IFAD have collaborated since 2012 with seven Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from six different countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and India.
The final workshop of this research initiative took place at IFAD headquarters in Rome, during 23-25 September, with the objective of presenting to IFAD officials the core results of seven case studies elaborated by the CSOs in collaboration with IASS. Besides the staff of IFAD, IASS and representatives from all seven CSOs, the discussions were joined by representatives of the International Land Coalition (ILC), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the German Ministry of German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The participants discussed how vulnerability to climate change is not only a matter of environmental factors, such as susceptibility to floods or droughts, but also social factors related to the governance of natural resources. Technological solutions adapted to smallholder farmers can surely improve the livelihood of poor rural people – as demonstrated by the experience of small scale water harvesting technologies in Brazil and agroforestry production systems in Alto Beni in Bolivia – , but the up scaling of these technologies may face significant barriers at the governance level. Also institutional innovations such as the recognition of community rights can provide an avenue for reducing the vulnerability of poor rural populations, although they may not be sufficient for ensuring to the communities a sustainable and dynamic economic insertion. Hence, pro-poor adaptation can imply the redefinition of who has rights over natural resources and under which conditions, processes normally marked by struggles and formation of alliances to counter the existing social structures.
The Executive Summary of the seven case studies can be downloaded ↓here.
A final version of the case studies and the final research report will be published in the coming months.
Talking soil awareness and exchanging ideas: The European Network on Soil Awareness (ENSA) held its third meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, UK, from 19-20 September 2013. The conference participants were an international mix of practitioners and scientists working on soil awareness, as well as members of government and the cultural sector.
Soil awareness activities from around the world were presented and options for the way forward were discussed. These included the progress under Pillar 2 of the Global Soil Partnership on education and awareness and the Summer of Soil in Sweden.
Ivonne Lobos Alva from the Global Soil Forum presented the Global Soil Week (GSW) as a global instrument for raising soil awareness and its contribution to governance for sustainability of soil and land resources. For information on awareness-related activities at the last GSW please read the 2012 report: http://globalsoilweek.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/gsw2012_final_report1.pdf
For more information on the programme of the ENSA conference, please visit:
Linking the stakeholders on land governance: Judith Rosendahl, Alexander Müller and Matheus Alves Zanella from the Global Soil Forum (GSF) attended the stakeholder conference on “Scaling-up Strategies to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights“ from 19-20 September in Interlaken, Switzerland. It was organised by Oxfam, the International Land Coalition and the Helvetas Rights and Resources Initiative. To contribute to the diversity of stakeholders, IASS/GSF invited representatives of two indigenous peoples’ organisations from Burkina Faso (GRAF) and Bolivia (Fundación Tierra).
The objective of the approximately 400 participants was to bring together a wide diversity of stakeholders — governments, local communities, Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, private investors, food and resource companies, and conservation organizations. Together, they discussed the priority of community land rights in global policy making and corporate investment planning. A major point for discussion was the target to double the global area that is under communal tenure by 2018. IASS senior fellow Alexander Müller gave an input on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure Land.
For more information on the conference, please visit:
Houses, traffic and industry: How does urbanization matter for soil?
The 7th International Conference of the Working Group Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas (SUITMA) of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) was held in Torun, Poland, 16-20 September 2013.
Objective was to share the latest information and ideas from around the world in this exciting and important field.
Klaus Lorenz, fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, gave a talk on challenges to urban soil management based on the outcomes of the discussions at the first Global Soil Week. Together with SUITMA chairman Jean Louis Morel, he organized a Global Soil Forum Roundtable to collate input for the urban sessions at the second Global Soil Week.
Despite no population growth in Germany since 2003, about 80 ha of land are converted per day for housing and development. An area the size of Berlin is taken annually for urbanization and infrastructure in Europe. Globally, an area the size of South Africa may be needed by 2030 to house the additional population. Thus, soil functions lost to urbanization must be provided by soils in non-urban areas. The global soil footprint of urban areas must be reduced and soil-friendly urbanization practices be developed.
The conference was attended by about 100 participants mainly from soil science from all continents except Antarctica.
SUITMA8 will be held in October 2015 in Mexico.
“Let’s Talk About Soil” nominated for animago AWARD
The nominees have now been announced for the animago AWARD. Among the candidates for the 2013 awards is the IASS’s animated film “Let’s Talk About Soil”, which has been nominated in the category “Best Visualisation”. DIGITAL PRODUCTION magazine has presented the awards to honour excellent digital media productions and visualisations since 1997. “Let’s Talk About Soil”, created in 2012 as part of the Global Soil Week organised by the IASS, was realised by designer Uli Henrik Streckenbach.
“Our aim is to highlight the importance of soils and their vulnerability, whereby it is particularly important that this issue is communicated beyond specialist audiences. The nomination shows us that with this film we have taken an important step in this direction. Soils concern everybody and the clip impressively shows that we can all do something to protect this valuable and finite resource. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Uli Streckenbach gets the award,” says Jes Weigelt, who heads the Global Soil Forum project at IASS Potsdam.
From more than 1000 entries, an expert jury has selected 55 works covering 3D/Animation, Visual Effects and Interactive Media. The readers of DIGITAL PRODUCTION will now select the award winners, who will be presented with their awards on 24 October 2013 as part of the animago CONFERENCE, to be held at Filmpark Babelsberg in Potsdam.
Transparency an essential criterion for responsible land governance. Outcomes of the 2nd Expert Hearing on the results of the G8 Summit at Lough Erne.
View the outcomes here →
The Call for Dialogue Sessions is now closed and submitters have been notified by 15th July 2013 regarding the review results.
Read the GSW 2012 Report here → and get an overview of the first GSW “Soils for Life” in numbers and words.