RELEASE OF OUTCOMES | African Soil Seminar | Nairobi, 28-30 November 2016



Within the framework of the special initiative “One world, No hunger” by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) which addresses malnutrition and hunger as fundamental issues for sustainable development, the Global Soil Forum (GSF) is accompanying land rehabilitation programmes in five countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India and Kenya between 2015-2017. Against this backdrop, the GSF lead the organization of the African Soil Seminar (AfSS) with the aim of underlining the central role that soil and land resources play in the implementation of the 2063 and 2030 Agendas in Africa. The AfSS was co-hosted by:

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Kenya represented by
Hon. Willy Bett, Cabinet Secretary
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Benin represented by
Dr. Francoise Assogba-Komlan, Cabinet Secretary
The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Ethiopia represented by
Mr. Tefera Solomon, Director, Soil Fertility Improvement Directorate
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Water Resources of Burkina Faso represented by
Mr. Daouda Maiga, Technical Advisor
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD represented by
Mamadou Diakhité, Team Leader, Principal Programme Officer Sustainable Soil and Water Management

In addition, the AfSS brought together civil society organizations, farmer and youth initiatives, private business and international financing, and junior and senior scholars. It was designed as a platform to share lessons on soil and landscape rehabilitation programmes while capitalizing on valuable partnerships and their networks with actors promoting sustainable land management from and in the African continent and Germany. We would like to particularly thank:

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Groupe de Recherche et d’Action sur le Foncier (GRAF)
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
Network of African National Human Rights Institution (NANHRI)
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)
Töpfer Müller Gaßner GmbH Think Tank for Sustainability (TMG)
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)

In light of growing populations, risks brought about by climate variability, resource degradation trends and politico-economic crises, deliberations at the AfSS focused on informing future investments (of human and material capital) to durably support the rehabilitation of soil and landscapes in an inclusive and equitable manner with multi-actor and cross-sector approaches. It composed of three plenaries, six thematic sessions, and ran a pilot Walking Debate to test new, differently informative ways to knowledge sharing on issues relating to the urban, among several side activities.

In their closing statement, the Co-Hosts of the AfSS declared their commitment to prioritize the importance of soils and the Rehabilitation of degraded soil and land for Food and nutritional security, energy security, poverty reduction, Adaptation to climate change and sustainable development. They acknowledged the crucial role of land rights, gender and youth sensitivity of investments and multi-stakeholder dialogues for sustainable soil restoration and development programmes. The full statement can be found here.

We are delighted to share with you the reports on the activities of the African Soil Seminar and its outcomes, and would like to thank all participants, collaborators and supporting friends for their lively engagement and making this event count!

your GSF team



In addition to the Co-Host Statement, the closing plenary featured the AfSS Chairs’ Conclusions by Wanjira Mathai, Director, Partnerships for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER), Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) and Alexander Müller, Managing Director TMG, Think-Tank for Sustainability and Study Lead TEEBAgriFood. Based on the discussions in the thematic sessions and plenaries, the statement voiced several crucial messages for inclusive and sustainable development in Africa, of which were the following points of emphasis:

  • Programmes for soil and landscape restoration need to reach the most vulnerable population groups, in particular women and youth
  • Climate change increases the need for soil rehabilitation measures
  • Without security of land tenure and rights specifically for vulnerable and marginalized, soil rehabilitation programmes will not contribute to ‘leaving no one behind’
  • Financial instruments, including blended finance, must be designed to reach and benefit food insecure people and reward farmers’ investments in soil Rehabilitation
  • Inclusive monitoring and follow-up and review mechanisms are indispensable to achieve accountability and therewith the 2063 and 2030 Agendas
  • Research for development and localized solution is crucial for the successful implementation of the 2063 and 2030 Agendas
  • Cooperation and coordination between the various actors and soil restoration initiatives is as well key
  • A global thematic review on land and soil can play a catalytic role in supporting soil restoration initiatives

the full statement can be found here.

Final Statements

Co-host statement Co-chairs statement Final IISD summary report


#1 – Soil Carbon for Climate and Development: How to prioritize smallholders through goals, techniques and implementation (pdf)
#2 – Soil and landscape restoration for Water Security: Creating the enabling Frameworks (pdf)
#3 – Human rights Monitoring & Learning Processes for Responsible Land Governance (pdf)
#4 – Land governance and sustainable land management in Africa: What lessons to draw? (pdf)
#5 – Making investments in soil rehabilitation count for food insecure farmers (pdf)
#6 – Food Security Policies for 2030 (pdf)


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This event is supported by: