Ukrainian Soil Partnership
Nowadays, soil degradation is recognized as one of the key global challenges that threaten our Planet.
The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) is a globally recognized mechanism established in December 2012 that aims to position soils in the Global Agenda through collective action. The main objectives of the GSP are to promote SSM and improve soil governance to guarantee healthy and productive soils, and support the provision of essential ecosystem services towards food security and improved nutrition, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable development.
Productive and healthy soils, particularly soils that are rich in organic matter called ‘chernozem’, are abundant in the Ukraine. However, leading Ukrainian soil scientists currently estimate that water erosion affects 13.4 million ha, including 10.6 million ha of arable land. The areas most affected by erosion (≤ 70%) are in the southern and eastern regions (> 70%). Expansion of eroded land in the Ukraine varies from 80 000 K ha to 90 000 ha per year. Additionally, the lack of updated research in the field of soil erosion, absence of stable soil monitoring as well as complicated institutional structures slow down the development of approaches aimed to combat land degradation at the national level. Thus, despite numerous emergent activities, soil resources are still seen as a secondary priority. The international soil community is ready to support national inter-institutional capacity building to create a unified and recognized voice for soils and to avoid fragmentation of efforts and waste of resources.
The establishment of the Ukrainian Soil Partnership (USP), as part of the sub-regional Eurasian Soil Partnership (EASP), the European Soil Partnership (ESP) and under the umbrella of the Global Soil Partnership, will act as a united national platform, which will facilitate dialogue and cooperation among interested stakeholders at country level. The USP will play a major role in advocating for and coordinating initiatives to combat land and soil degradation. It will ensure that Ukrainian soils are appropriately represented in the global community as well as develop appropriate dialogue and decision-making processes on the national level. The National Soil Partnership will represent a joint effort of all leading state institutions with significant experience in soil science.