Soil is under pressure. The renewed recognition of the central role of soil resources as a basis for food security and their provision of key ecosystem services, including climate change adaptation and mitigation, has triggered numerous regional and international projects, initiatives and actions. Despite these numerous emergent activities, soil resources are still seen as a second-tier priority and no international governance body exists that advocates for and coordinates initiatives to ensure that knowledge and recognition of soils are appropriately represented in global change dialogues and decision making processes. At the same time, there is need for coordination and partnership to create a unified and recognized voice for soils and to avoid fragmentation of efforts and wastage of resources.
Maintaining healthy soils required for feeding the growing population of the world and meeting their needs for biomass (energy), fiber, fodder, and other products can only be ensured through a strong partnership. This is one of the key guiding principles for the establishment of the Global Soil Partnership.