Catalysing SDG Implementation through a Soil and Land Review

22-24 May, Scandic Hotel, Berlin

The Global Soil Week 2017 aims to contribute to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will do so by looking at the subset of SDGs that are under review by the High-level Political Forum 2017 (HLPF) through the perspective of land and soils, thereby providing an integrating perspective across the SDGs; contributing data and other forms of knowledge complementary to the SDG indicators. The Global Soil Week 2017 (GSW) also aims to serve as bridge to empower different actors to share their priorities on the SDG implementation. Proceeding like this, the GSW 2017 intends to contribute to the HLPF theme “Eradicating Poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world” and, ultimately, catalyse SDG implementation. Specifically, partners of the GSW intend to:

    • Account for trade-offs and seek synergies between the SDGs;
    • Move from knowledge production and sharing to learning processes that feed into action;
    • Empower actors to be able to contribute to follow up and review processes of the 2030 Agenda;
    • Increase the ownership of the 2030 Agenda;
    • Address critical pressure points, namely: (i) Net resource pressures; (ii) Consumption and production patterns; (iii) Access and rights to resources.

Universality lives off Diversity [ Plurality ]

Building Local Cells of Accountability [ Power ]

Responsible Mediation of Competing Demands on Natural Resources [ Human Rights Based ]

At the LAB we will come together to produce an example of how to look at the SDGs being reviewed at the HLPF 2017 (SDG 1, 2,3, 5, 9, 14, 17) through the lens of soil and land. The Lab is an open space for multi- stakeholder deliberation on gaps and synergies within and between the SDGs. We will focus on the 2017 HLPF theme of eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity and jointly develop priorities for action at different scales throughout the next years, to make the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda a reality. The Lab is a space for the convergence of actors, perspectives and discussions emerging from the preparatory processes and workshops of the Global Soil Week.

1 | Soil Rehabilitation for Zero Hunger: upscaling people’s technologies by sharing lessons and developing strategies

This workshop builds on the partnerships with Ministries of Agriculture in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Kenya and other stakeholders, established under the BMZ Initiative “One World, No Hunger”. Healthy soils and equitable use of land play crucial roles for sustainable development; as land degradation neutrality is fundamental for better livelihoods, ending hunger, improving human health and well-being, and can contribute to gender empowerment among other goals. Thereof, this workshop is designed to identify synergies that can support our collective of partners in catalyzing SDG implementation at local and national levels. Particularly, we will define some key gaps and challenges in existing policies that hinder broad-based sustainable soil management, and potentially strategic intervention areas for targeted investments in soils.


2 | Right to [defend] Land:
strengthening accountability at the local level through thematic reviews

Secure access to land and natural resources is crucial for the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. Despite international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, marginalized people struggle to enjoy their legitimate land tenure rights given competing pressures on resources and injustice, often resulting in violent silencing of activists. Protecting land rights defenders and strengthening local accountability mechanisms is not only key to people’s lives, but is also essential to achieving the SDGs. By addressing the “shrinking civic space”, this workshop will utilize the Thematic Reviews promoted by the 2030 Agenda to create a support function for accountability at national levels by elaborating guidelines for national government reporting and empower local cases.


3  | Competing Pressures on Soil & Land: securing our natural resource base for food security

Soil resources are pivotal to end hunger and achieve food security (Sustainable Development Goal 2). Yet, fertile soils are not only a finite and limitedly available resource, but also continuously degraded. Under a business as usual scenario, implementing the SDGS will increase demands placed on soils for the production of food, feed, fibre, and fuels. Competing demands and trade-offs manifest locally at the landscape level in the production of land-based goods and products (e.g. food crops versus energy crops) and at a global level by the trade of land-based goods and services thereby shifting the use of natural resources and outsourcing externalities. This workshop focuses on critical competing demands on soils and links this with practical steps of how we can achieve land degradation neutrality to achieve food security.


We are developing the workshops together with our partners. If you want to receive more information and get involved, please check our website for updates on the programme and contact for general enquiries or the individual workshop facilitators below. Your contributions are welcome!

GSW Coordinators



Communication & Youth Curators

Urban Dimension Curators