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Global Soil Partnership Terms of Reference Approved by the FAO

8 January 2013: Following a multi-year process to develop and approve a Terms of Reference (TOR), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Governing Council approved the TOR of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP).

The GSP has a mandate to improve the governance of soil resources and support ecosystem services through an interactive and responsive partnership. It emerged from recommendations made by the FAO High-Level External Committee on the Millennium Development Goals and the FAO Director-General in 2009 and 2010. The TORs were developed and reviewed by an international group of soil scientists from national and international institutions.

The GSP works to raise awareness and contribute to capacity development for the sustainable management and use of soil resources. Its objectives focus on enhancing and applying knowledge on soil resources in order to promote public and government awareness, capacity building, access to information and investment. The Partnership also addresses critical soil issues, supports the development of new knowledge, including the development of sustainable soil management guidelines and works to forge links between initiatives.

The GSP, which will hold an annual plenary, is comprised of voluntary partners and an inter-governmental technical panel on soils that includes 27 regional experts and the GSP Secretariat, based out of FAO. [Global Soil Partnership Terms of Reference Overview]  [GSP Terms of Reference]