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Global Soil Week 2017

Catalyzing SDG Implementation through a Soil and Land Review

22-24 May 2017 | Berlin, Germany

Highlights for Wednesday, 24 May 2017

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Co-Moderators Lindiwe Sibanda, Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), South Africa, with Alexander Müller, TMG. Think Thank for Sustainability

Global Soil Week 2017 (GSW 2017) convened from 22-24 May 2017 in Berlin, Germany, and addressed the theme, ‘Catalyzing SDG Implementation through a Land and Soil Review.’ Attended by almost 300 participants, the meeting aimed to develop policy messages as input to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) scheduled to convene in July 2017.

Following the opening plenary, participants held three thematic workshops to explore the following topics: ‘Sustaining and upscaling achievements of sustainable land management (SLM) initiatives’; ‘Right to (defend) land: strengthening accountability at the local level through thematic reviews’; and ‘Protecting land resources for shared prosperity.’ The workshops were informed by the experiences of some of the 44 countries that will present voluntary national reviews at this year’s HLPF, as well as expert contributions.

The two-part “Thematic Review LAB” took place on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning to pilot contributions to the sub-set of seven Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be the focus of the HLPF’s thematic review in 2017. The LAB aimed to, inter alia: identify progress, gaps and synergies in implementing the 2030 Agenda; synthesize knowledge, and discuss tradeoffs and synergies in SDG implementation;; discuss concrete policy actions needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda; and highlight opportunities for further collaboration and partnerships.

On Wednesday morning, participants discussed five draft policy messages to the HLPF that emerged from the first two days’ discussions and proposed additional changes to be included in the final conference outcome.

During the final plenary session, a high-level speakers reflected on the methodology introduced at GSW 2017 and provided further inputs on how to enhance the usefulness of such preparatory processes to the overall monitoring of the SDGs.

Closing the meeting, the co-moderators thanked the German government for offering to continue its support for the Global Soil Week, and announced that the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) will hand over coordination of the conferences to TMGThinkTank for Sustainability. During a brief ceremony, Klaus Töpfer, initiator of the Global Soil Week, received a Distinguished Service Award from the International Union of Soil Scientists (IUSS).

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, is providing web coverage and a summary report of discussions on Wednesday, 24 May 2017, which will be available on this site on Friday, 26 May 2017.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis
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Closing Plenary

Klaus Töpfer receives a Distinguished Service Award from the International Union of Soil Scientists

Chantal Clément, the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES)

Klaus Töpfer, Founding Director, TMG

Jochen Flasbarth, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany

Jes Weigelt, IASS

Rattan Lal, Ohio State University, USA

Hilary Ogbonna, UN SDG Action Campaign

Marianne Beisheim, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Germany

R. B. Sinha, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, India

Céline Charveriat, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)

Stefan Schmitz, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with Klaus Töpfer, Founding Director, TMG

Louisette Clémence Bamzok née Mbadobe, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cameroon, and Ivonne Lobos Alva, IASS

Thematic Review LAB

Acacha Akoha, Benin

Stefan Schmitz, BMZ

Ivonne Lobos Alva, IASS

Johns Muleso Kharika, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Massa Almaz Messele, Ethiopia

Lindiwe Sibanda, FANRPAN, South Africa

Alexander Müller, TMG. Think Thank for Sustainability

Mark Smith, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

José Francisco Calí Tzay, Guatemala

Barbara Unmüßig, Heinrich Böll Foundation

Günther Bachmann, German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)

View of the room during the lab

Around the Venue


CoverageAbout | 24 May
Specific funding for IISD Reporting Services coverage of GSW 2017 has been provided by IASS Potsdam, GIZ, and BMZ
IASS Potsdam BMZ GIZ