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Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18)

2-4 May 2018 | Headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy

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The Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18) is taking place from 2-4 May 2018 in Rome, Italy. The meeting is organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its Global Soil Partnership, the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, UN Environment (UNEP), and the World Health Organization.

The Symposium will bring together stakeholders to discuss the latest scientific information on the status, trends and actions on soil pollution. It will also address the attendant consequences to human health, food safety and security, and the environment. The Symposium is the first step in implementing the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management, which aim to prevent and reduce harmful substances in soil in a bid to promote food safety in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The objectives of the Symposium are to:

  • Examine the current scientific understanding of soil pollution and its effects on food production and safety, the environment and human health;
  • Critically reflect on the impact of land use decisions at the national level on soil, air and water pollution;
  • Identify limitations and prioritize key challenges related to restoring polluted sites;
  • Review and propose ways to improve existing international policies, agreements and frameworks addressing sources of pollution to agricultural land;
  • Survey and review the use of soil thresholds globally and explore additional research and policy needs; and
  • Launch an agenda for action on soil pollution as a contribution to the implementation of the third UN Environment Assembly Declaration on Soil Pollution.

Participants at the Symposium are expected to address the following themes: soil pollution on agricultural fields and other land uses; impact of soil pollution on food production and safety; impact of soil pollution on the environment and overall human well-being; remediation of polluted sites; and the global status of soil pollution. The symposium outcome document “Be the solution to soil pollution” will highlight the importance of addressing soil pollution from the food safety, environment and human health perspectives, and will include a joint agenda for action based on scientific evidence to prevent, mitigate and remediate it where feasible.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily digital web updates and a summary report from GSOP18. The summary report is now available in HTML and PDF.


Daily Web CoverageAbout | 2 May | 3 May | 4 May | Summary
Funding for IISD Reporting Services coverage of GSOP18 has been provided by FAO