This last week Diana Wall, Science Chair and Kelly Ramirez, Executive Director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) Secretariat attended the UN Conference on Global Sustainability, RIO+20. The GSBI was fortunate to have Drs. George Brown and Heitor Coutino of Embrapa in Brazil organize a very successful side event- “Towards a Truly Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative”. (More details to follow on our website.)
Diana, along with Dr. Luca Montanarella, of the EU Joint Research Commission, and one of our GSBI leaders, also participated in the “World Day to Combat Desertification Global Observance Event”, a day long panel on land degradation. Diana and Luca were on panels discussing the relationship of the GSBI with the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) and Economics of Land Degradation, respectively.
There were numerous other Side Events on soils, indicating the high priority that is now being placed on soil security from those involved in the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). Further, the GSBI received positive feedback from some at the CDB and FAO - indicating that our independent scientific effort on biodiversity, function and ecosystem services is already being well received. Overall, this trip reaffirmed that a collaborative, coordinated global network of scientists can be very effective at translating knowledge and identifying where knowledge can be applied.