Unlocking the potential of soil organic carbon: outcome document.
This paper reports the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC17), which was jointly organized by the: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); Global Soil Partnership (GSP) and its Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); and World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The symposium was held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, on 21-23 March 2017 and attended by 488 participants (33% women, 67% men) from 111 countries, including representatives of FAO member states, organizing institutions, the private sector and civil society, as well as scientists and practitioners working on soil organic carbon (SOC) and related fields. The overall aim of the symposium was to review the role of soils and SOC in the context of climate change, sustainable development and land degradation neutrality (LDN). The three-day symposium was structured around three main themes focusing on the assessment of SOC, the maintenance and increase of SOC stocks, and SOC management in specific types of soil. Participants from across the globe engaged actively by presenting the results of studies demonstrating the potential and challenges of managing and monitoring SOC and by discussing and developing the key messages reflected in this outcome document. The recommendations made based on this work are aimed at supporting the development of policies and actions to encourage the implementation of soil and land management strategies that foster the protection, sequestration, measurement, mapping, monitoring and reporting of SOC.