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Global Soil Partnership (GSP)


The Global Soil Partnership for Food Security and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (GSP) brings together international, regional and national organizations that are working in the area of soil protection and sustainable management. Launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome on 7 September 2011, the Partnership aims to implement the provisions of the 1982 World Soil Charter, and to raise awareness and motivate action by decision-makers on the importance of soils for food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The IAEA is participating in the Global Soil Partnership because nuclear science and technology have an important role to play in efficient soil and water management. For example, isotopic techniques are used to assess and gather data about various elements in soil, water and plants. The information can then be used to formulate strategies for efficient water and fertilizer usage, and to determine appropriate agricultural management practices that improve crop production while preventing soil degradation. This enables farmers to practice agriculture in a sustainable manner.

In addition, the IAEA uses nuclear techniques to help countries develop drought resilient crops for improved agricultural productivity, and to calculate the precise amount of water and fertilizer required for optimum harvests.

Through its technical cooperation (TC) programme, the IAEA is carrying out projects to improve soil and water management in more than 20 countries around the world. Projects range from ensuring sustainable increases in crop production in Afghanistan to improving irrigation in Ecuador, from sustaining soil fertility in Mozambique to developing biosaline agriculture in Qatar, and from using environmental radionuclides as indicators of land degradation in Latin American, Caribbean and Antarctic ecosystems to developing soil conservation strategies for improved soil health in Tajikistan.

The IAEA is working with numerous soil research organizations through the technical cooperation programme. Click here for a list of organizations in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America.

Managing Soils for Climate-Smart Agriculture: Celebrating the International Year of Soils
16 September 2015, Vienna Austria
The event highlighted the work of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture in climate-smart agriculture as it relates to soil and water management as well as the role of the IAEA’s Department of Technical Cooperation in enhancing national and regional capacity in Member States. Read more

Atoms for Peace and Development: The IAEA and the Post-2015 Development Goals
15 September 2015, Vienna Austria
The event connected nuclear science and technology to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and underscored the ‘Atoms for Peace and Development’ message at a moment when much of international attention is focused on sustainable development. Read more

Regional Soil Partnership Workshops during the International Year of Soils
During the International Year of Soils, the Regional Soil partnerships convened various regional workshops. The objective of those regional consultation workshops was to consolidate the partnerships by bringing together the newly appointed Focal Points to the GSP.

The following counterparts participated in the following consultation workshops:
South American Soil Partnership workshop; 2-6 March Santiago, Chile – Attended by the project counterpart from Chile, Regional Latin America project (RLA/5064) - Strengthening Soil and Water Conservation Strategies at the Landscape Level by Using Innovative Radio and Stable Isotope and Related Techniques (ARCAL CXL).

Asian Soil Partnership consultation workshop; 12-14 May, Bangkok, Thailand– Attended by the project counterpart from Thailand, Regional Asia and the Pacific project, (RAS/5065) - Supporting Climate-Proofing Rice Production Systems (CRiPS) Based on Nuclear Applications.

The second Global Soil Week took place from 27 – 31 October 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The IAEA participates in the Global Soil Week in support of  soil science knowledge transfer and promoting the agenda of sustainable land management globally.


Current concerns about the adverse effects of soil loss, and decreasing soil quality have generated an urgent need for reliable quantitative data on the extent and actual rates of soil erosion worldwide. This report from the Asia and Pacific region highlights the seriousness of land degradation, in particular soil erosion, and the great challenges to optimize land use/management for competing needs, in particular for achieving food security with minimal damage to the environment. Technical solutions to the problems of assessing soil erosion losses and on how to evaluate the effectiveness of land management and watershed management programmes, are presented. Read more

The animated film LET’S TALK ABOUT SOIL emphasizes human dependence on soils and describes how sustainable development is threatened by certain soil use trends; the film offers options to make the way we manage our soils more sustainable.

The film is also available in German, Spanish, French and Arabic here

LET’S TALK ABOUT SOIL was produced by designer and animator Uli Henrik Streckenbach for the Global Soil Week and the Global Soil Partnership with the support of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) – Global Soil Forum, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Deutsche Welle.


Global Soil Partnership Web Site
Global Soil Partnership brochure (FAO)
World Soil Charter
JRC International Cooperation - Global Soil Partnership
Background paper by the European Commission Joint Research Centre
Africa Soil Science Society

Managing Soils for More Food Security - Interview with Winfried E.H. Blum

Soil and Water Management: An IAEA Gateway to the Global Soil Partnership by Juan Antonio Casas-Zamora, Director Division of Programme Support and Coordination, Department of Technical Cooperation, IAEA
Regional Soil Policies and future of Soil Science by Martin Yemefack, PhD President of Africa Soil Science Society (ASSS)

Web Articles
Better Soil Management With Nuclear Techniques

TC soil related projects
2012-2013 Active TC Projects Related to Soil & Water Management

Read more about the IAEA’s work in soil protection and sustainable agriculture
IAEA’s Soil and Water and Crop Nutrition Section
Combating desertification: nuclear techniques help to improve the management of land and water
Improving crop, water and soil management in the coastal area of Bangladesh
More crop per drop in Africa
Increasing crop production and addressing soil degradation in Mali
RCA Regional Cooperative Agreement For Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific

Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 07 Apr, 2016

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Regional/Cooperative Agreements

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