Global Soil Week

Soils and land are the basis for 95 per cent of the world’s food production. They are an enormous source of biodiversity and play an important role in climate change mitigation by storing carbon. But billions of tonnes of soil are either lost to erosion or sealed over every year, affecting roughly 1.5 billion people worldwide. Famine and growing conflicts over land use are just some of the consequences of this development.

Promoting sustainable soil management

Held annually, Global Soil Week highlights the vital importance of soils for sustainable development and climate change mitigation. The conference brings together policymakers and stakeholders from the private sector, science, and civil society to develop strategies and measures that support sustainable soil management and land governance, with a particular focus on the roles of states, government agencies, and local authorities.

Connecting science with policymaking

The Global Soil Week is both a platform and a process. Working in close cooperation with other IASS projects such as the SDG Science Platform and the Ocean Governance project, the research team supports efforts to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals and acts as a catalyst for further action. Policy advice generated by researchers involved in this project underpins the work of the IASS at the science-policy interface.

The Global Soil Week programme features both a global and regional events with thematic workshops. Other project outputs include the development of joint priorities and thematic reviews for the implementation of global agreements on sustainable development, with a particular focus on issues around sustainable land management.


01 to 08/2017

Project partners:

  • Members of the National Support Group for the Global Soil Week:

Federal Environment Agency (UBA), German Agency for International Development (GIZ), GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Heinrich Böll Foundation, German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), Institute of Geography of the University of Osnabrueck, German League for Nature, Animal and Environment Protection (DNR), und.Institut für Kunst, Kultur und Zukunftsfaehigkeit, Deutsche Agrarforschungsallianz (DAFA), Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V., Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), World Commission on Environmental Law, Sustainable Use of Soils and Desertification Specialist Group, DesertNet International, Oxfam Deutschland e.V.,  German Institute for Human Rights, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), German Development Institute (DIE), Aktionsplattform Bodenschutz, German Soil Science Society (DBG), IINAS


  • Members of the Global Soil Forum’s Steering Group:

Center for Development Research (ZEF), UNCCD – United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – Land and Water Division, European Commission – Directorate-General for Environment, Directorate D – Natural Capital, SEI – Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, CENESTA-Centre for Sustainable Development, Ohio State University, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, African Union – Rural Economy and Agriculture, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), IUSS


Sustainable land management, land governance, human rights, sustainable development, monitoring and assessment, transdisciplinary processes


Scientific Project Leader: Dr Jes Weigelt

Research Associates: Charlotte Beckh, Franziska Linz, Ivonne Lobos Alva, Judith Rosendahl, Matheus Alves Zanella, Hannah Janetschek, Natasha Aruri

Programme Associate: Ilka Mai

Supervising Directors: Prof. Mark Lawrence, Prof. Ortwin Renn