The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) will host its first Open Meeting immediately after the Planet Under Pressure Conference in London, England. The meeting will take place at the ExCel Center, Friday 30th March from 9:00am – 3:00 pm, and will discuss the future direction of the GSBI. IES scientist L. Montanarella is one of the organisers of the event.
Everyone is encouraged to give input during a working session where issues will be identified such as examples of why soil biodiversity matters and the available data that supports these examples. The meeting also plans to establish the priorities for the next steps for the Initiative.
The GSBI is a stakeholder-led initiative bringing awareness to the impact and role of soil biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functions. The Earth’s soils are living, dynamic interfaces that are habitats for millions of microbial and animal species. The activities of these soil biota are critical to the well-being of humans, because their activities support the delivery of major ecosystem services like food and fibre provision, carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling, clean air and groundwater. They are also vital for controlling erosion, and plant, animal and human diseases. However, intensive use and misuse of soils, or their complete sealing due to urbanisation, puts the sustainability of these biota-driven services at risk, while many people are unaware of the significant role of soil biota. The GSBI represents a global soil biodiversity venture to develop a comprehensive course of action for such issues.
The main goals are to make better use of existing knowledge on global and regional soil biodiversity and ecosystem services through enhanced communication among stakeholders and policy makers. The GSBI partners plan to achieve their goals through conferences and working groups that bring together multiple stakeholders to produce publications to facilitate policy-makers with important decisions.