UNU-LRT representatives attend the Global Soil Week 2013

7 November 2013
Discussion groups on soil engineering
Discussion groups on soil engineering

Soils provide essential ecosystem services such as food production and carbon storage. Although soils are managed and owned locally, their degradation is a key global issue, as their ecosystem services transcend national boundaries. Sustainable soil management thus requires a global approach.

Like last year, Berlin was the host city of the Global Soil Week, which was held there for the second consecutive year.  This multi-stakeholder event took place in the last week of October and gathered over 450 participants from all over the world.


The Global Soil Week 2013 was dedicated to sustainable management of soils. Soil is a very important resource that all countries in the world possess. Unfortunately, soils are severely threatened and on many occasions they suffer continuous decline. Moreover, fertile soils are very often unequally distributed, are continuingly taken up by urban expansions and leave little access for vulnerable groups, especially in developing countries. These concerns were addressed at the conference.

UNU-LRT had two representatives at the conference, the Office Manager, Halldora Traustadottir, and Johann Thorsson, who teaches extensively at the programme and serves on the UNU-LRT studies committee. Mr. Thorsson, who is a staff member of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, one of the two implementing institutions of UNU-LRT, was also a group leader in discussions on soil engineering on the second day of the four day conference. Further information on the conference and its outcomes can be found on the website: http://globalsoilweek.org/