Every four years, leading soil scientists from around the world meet at the World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) to discuss new discoveries in basic and applied research. This year’s meeting under the motto “Soils embrace Life and Universe” marks the 20th anniversary of the conference,  held on the Korean island of Jeju from June 8th – 13th. The Global Soil Forum is represented by Alexander Müller, Senior Fellow at the IASS, who gave a talk on June 13th titled “IUSS for Global Soils: Future Nexus.”

The IASS’ Global Soil Forum calls for an increased collaboration between the IUSS and the Global Soil Week. Especially in regard to the ongoing UN negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the establishment of a strategic partnership can serve as a valuable tool to gain attention for soil and land topics.

“Unfortunately the international community is far from fully recognizing the need for bold action to reverse land degradation and to implement the existing knowledge on sustainable soil management on a global level. Soils still have to be considered as a forgotten resource when it comes to governance at global level,” Alexander Müller said.

He went on to emphasize the importance of developing new forms of multiple stakeholder partnerships and cooperation, which spark intensive discussion on appropriate forms of governance of land and soil, and the role of soils in the Nexus debate. Such partnerships would also be helpful in raising awareness about these current challenges to a sustainable future during annual celebrations of World Soil Day on the 5th of December and the International Year of Soils in 2015. Mr. Müller also pointed to the fact that “business as usual has the potential to undermine the basis for food security and to threaten human development.” Working together with our partners, the Global Soil Week wants to make sure that soils are considered an essential part of the natural resource nexus to achieve energy, food and water security.


Elisa Gärtner
Global Soil Forum
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)

Phone: +49 331 28822 318
Email: Elisa.Gaertner@iass-potsdam.de