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Saturday, June 20, 2015

FAO member countries urged to domesticate new world soil charter

The over 190 member countries of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have been urged to domesticate the newly endorsed World Soil Charter (WSC), NajiaAgroNet reports.

This is coming as the world celebrates  the 2015 International Year of Soils, at the 39th FAO Conference to promote and institutionalize sustainable soil management at all levels, even as the 13 principles listed in its charter still remains valid

This according to the Global Soil Partners (GSP) is in light of new scientific knowledge gained over the past 30 years, especially with respect to new issues such as soil pollution and its consequences for the environment, climate change adaptation and mitigation and urban sprawl impacts on soil availability and functions. 

The original strong focus of the WSC on land use planning and land evaluation had to be adjusted; NajiaAgroNet gathered that, more recent key references and concepts such as the more widely understood framework of ecosystem services had to be reflected; major developments in the intervening period such as the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and ensuring spate of new agreements and the work of the Committee on Food Security had to be factored in; and the guidelines for action had to be reorganized and expanded to take account of a broader range of stakeholders. 

This was achievable through the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), tasked with a revised text wide consultations within the international soil community and submitted to the GSP pleanary Assembly.

NajiaAgroNet also learnt that the first WSC was conceived and formulated, negotiated and adopted by the member countries in the 1981 FAO Conference and was a major normative instrument agreed by member states that the GSP partners was duty-bound to promote its principles and has requested all member states to move into its full implementation of the new World Soil Charter.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE 

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