Headline: Global Soil Week 2013: Losing Ground?

Food security for a growing global population, the fight against climate change and the protection of our water resources all count as some of the biggest challenges of the future. These challenges can only be overcome, if we take action against the loss of our soils: About 24 billion tonnes of soil are lost each year! To find approaches for soil protection and sustainable agriculture, the IASS Potsdam will host the Global Soil Week from 27 to 31 October in Berlin.

Once lost, it is gone forever: the soil beneath our feet. Each year, billions of tonnes are lost due to erosion, indiscriminate environmental exploitation and poor political decisions. One quarter of the surface of the Earth has already been destroyed, and together with the soil the largest terrestrial biospheres are also disappearing. Without soil, mankind has no future. Hunger and the intensification of conflicts over land rights are some of the devastating results of this loss. This situation must be reversed.

For the second time stakeholders representing political, scientific and civil society communities from all over the world will meet at the Global Soil Week to draw attention to the limited but often forgotten natural resource, soil, and highlight the need to manage this resource in a sustainable manner. In accordance with this year’s motto ‘Losing Ground?’ we will discuss the changes that must be initiated to encourage responsible political actions in land management. Since the result of this international multi-stakeholder event is an action plan, approaches to solutions for the following questions will be developed:

  • How can soil and climate protection, as well as food security be effectively integrated? How can sustainable and responsible political actions in land management be implemented?
  • How do we achieve the establishment of soil protection as a global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)?
  • How do we fight against soil contamination and achieve large scale soil revitalization?
  • How can civil society be integrated systematically into the relevant decision making processes?

The Global Soil Week is organized by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies with our partners, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the European Commission, the Federal Environment Agency, the German Society for International Cooperation and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

For more information see http://www.globalsoilweek.org

Media representatives can register via media@iass-potsdam.de or corina.weber@iass-potsdam.de