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90 % of Earth’s Topsoil at Risk by 2050: FAO

FAO has also called for the coordination and integration of sustainable practices through investment in development and education through the GSP. These meticulously planned programmes facilitate the transfer of soil health information and technology.

Shivam Dwivedi
According to FAO, programmes have been launched to increase the amount of organic matter in soil "by implementing practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, and agroforestry."
According to FAO, programmes have been launched to increase the amount of organic matter in soil "by implementing practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, and agroforestry."

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) warned that the equivalent of one soccer pitch of earth erodes every five seconds in an effort to protect soil globally and assist farmers. It also takes a thousand years to produce a few centimetres of topsoil and aid in land restoration. The UN agency is now urging countries and partners who have signed up to the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) over the last decade to take more action.

The FAO's five key actions require civilians, governments, and international organizations to take greater action to monitor and care for the soil. One accomplishment of GSP thus far has been the collaboration with farmers and local governments to improve soil health.

According to FAO, programmes have been launched to increase the amount of organic matter in soil "by implementing practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, and agroforestry."

Costa Rica and Mexico have joined these pilot programmes and trained farmers in best practices such as using "cover crops" to prevent erosion, crop rotation, and tree planting.

Digital Mapping:

Furthermore, the GSP has increased data collection through digital soil mapping. This technology informs policymakers about relevant soil conditions and enables them to make informed decisions about soil degradation management.

The FAO has also called for the coordination and integration of sustainable practices through investment in development and education through the GSP. These meticulously planned programmes facilitate the transfer of soil health information and technology. These networks standardize soil analysis methods, units, and information.

According to FAO, the highly technical nature of the topsoil policy debate can alienate constituencies who would otherwise be concerned and engaged on such an important environmental and social issue. Campaigns like the International Year of Soils and World Soil Day aim to increase youth awareness of soils and participation in preventing further degradation.

While the work of the GSP represents non-State partners' efforts to promote sustainable soil practices, state policymakers are necessary actors in implementing a sustainable soil policy.

Documents such as the Revised World Soil Charter, the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil, and the International Code of Conduct for the Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizers are produced by the GSP and provide valuable guidance to national governments.

The five accomplishments described above represent a key existing strategy within the United Nations system for combating soil degradation and promoting sustainable farming around the world.

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