May 15, 2019 - May 17, 2019

Rome, Italy

Global Symposium on Soil Erosion

Stop soil erosion, save our future
15-17 May 2019, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy

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The Global Symposium on Soil Erosion (GSER19) will be a science-policy meeting, held over three days, from 15-17 May, at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy. Jointly organized by the UN FAO and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), together with the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, its main objective is to establish a common platform to present and discuss the latest information on the status of interventions and innovations in the field of soil erosion and related land management.

Soil erosion is one of the ten major soil threats identified in the 2015 Status of the World’s Soil Resources report (link). It is defined as the removal of soil particles, soil aggregates, organic matter and nutrients from the land surface through three major pathways: water, wind and tillage. Soil erosion can affect soil quality by removing the highly fertile topsoil and exposing the subsurface horizon that has low organic matter content. This process can result in soil structure degradation, nutrient loss, poor microbial activity and even soil salinity.

It poses a major threat to global food security and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. As confirmed at the UNFCCC COP23 (see the Koronivia Decision) in 2018, soil health is key to combating climate change. In this context, soil erosion control can be related to the achievement of SDG13 and further extended to the SDGs 2, 3, 6 and 15 on food security, clean water provision, desertification and biodiversity loss halting, respectively.

GSER19 aims to translate scientific and policy evidence into decisions and actions to minimize soil erosion for increased food security, ecosystem services, and promote the restoration of eroded sites.

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