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Third Global Soil Week (GSW) 2015 - “Soil. The Substance of Transformation”

19-23 April 2015 | Berlin, Germany

Highlights for Monday, 20 April 2015

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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 20 Apr | 21 Apr | 22 Apr | 23 Apr | Summary

Participants registering during the opening day

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has produced a summary report of the “Global Soil Week 2015: Soil. The Substance of Transformation.” in HTML and PDF format.

The Third Global Soil Week (GSW) 2015 opened on Monday, 20 April, with a screening of Soil Movie 2.0. Klaus Töpfer, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Executive Director, welcomed participants and underlined that soil is at the center of the transformation needed to address a variety of environmental challenges. Noting that this transformation is a global challenge, he called for visionary target on soils in the context of the sustainable development goals (SDG) process. A panel of experts and practitioners discussed linkages between sustainable soil management and the SDGs, including experiences from Bangladesh, Kenya and the EU, as well as perspectives from the FAO and UNCCD.

A joint IASS-UNEP press conference was held at lunchtime to launch the report “The Role of Biomass in the SDGs: A Reality Check and Governance Implications.” The report assesses the coherence of the SDGs and their targets with regard to soil and biomass. It shows that that projected demand for biomass under the SDGs will exceed the quantities that can be produced with currently available arable land.

In the afternoon, participants convened in eight interactive dialogue sessions to further discuss linkages between soils and the post-2015 agenda, including the following issues: the role of soils for food security and sustainable food systems; the challenge of biomass within the post-2015 development agenda; overriding the urban/non-urban divide in the new urban agenda; mitigation and adaptation to climate change through sustainable land management; linking sustainable land management and the coastal and marine environments; the contribution of land degradation neutrality to climate change mitigation and adaptation; economics of land degradation; and land rehabilitation for food security.

L-R: Pia Bucella, European Commission; Sirajul Islam, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Bangladesh; Klaus Töpfer, IASS, Germany; Monique Barbut, UNCCD; Moujahed Achouri, FAO; and Joseph Ole Simel, Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organization (MPIDO), Kenya

Moujahed Achouri, FAO

Aroldo Cedraz, Minister,
Federal Court of Accounts, Brazil

Monique Barbut, UNCCD

Johan Kuylenstierna, Stockholm Environment Institute
and Ivonne Lobos Alva, IASS

Ivonne Lobos Alva, IASS with Maren Lönz, Germany

Pia Bucella, European Commission

Klaus Töpfer, IASS

Milkha Aulakh, India

Joseph Ole Simel, MPIDO, Kenya


Sirajul Islam, BRAC, Bangladesh

Steffen Schweizer, Germany

Press Conference

Room view during the press conference

Mette Wilkie, UNEP, Kenya

Michael Obersteiner, International Institute
for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

Jes Weigelt, Global Soil Forum Coordinator, IASS, Germany

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, World Future Council

L-R: Mette Wilkie, UNEP, Kenya; Michael Obersteiner, IIASA, Austria; Jes Weigelt, IASS, Germany;
Klaus Töpfer
, IASS, Germany; and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, World Future Council

Dialogue Session: Joint ITPS-SPI meeting at the occasion of the Global Soil Week 2015: land degradation neutrality and its contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation

Room view during the session

Uriel Safriel, Science-Policy Interface (SPI) Co-Chair, Israel

Luca Montanarella, Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS)

Martial Bernoux, SPI

Dialogue Session: Mitigation and adaptation to climate change through sustainable land magagement

Rattan Lal, Ohio State University, US


Sergio Zelaya, UNCCD, Germany

Katia Simeonova, UNFCCC, Germany

Dialogue Session: The new urban agenda "on the ground" - overriding the urban/ non-urban divide

L-R: AbdouMaliq Simone, Max Planck Institute for Social and Ethnic Diversity, Germany; Pieter de Vries, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Carolina Chica Builes, Secretariat of Planning, Colombia; Pushpa Arabindoo, University College London, UK

Carolina Chica Builes, Secretariat of Planning, Colombia

Pushpa Arabindoo, University College London, UK

Dialogue Session: Land rehabilitation for food security

Participants holding the names of the Working Groups that will convene in part II of the dialogue session on land rehabilitation and food security

Regina Birner,
University of Hohenheim, Germany

Mario Coto, Ministry of Environment
and Energy, Costa Rica

Tanja Busse, GIZ, Germany

Opening Reception

Funding for coverage of GSW 2015 has been provided by IASS Potsdam, GIZ, and BMZ
Daily Web CoverageAbout | 20 Apr | 21 Apr | 22 Apr | 23 Apr | Summary