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Land Policy & Practice
Second Global Soil Week (GSW 2013) - “Losing Ground?”

27-31 October 2013 | Berlin, Germany
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)

Intro - 28 October - 29 October - 30 October

Highlights for Monday, 28 October 2013

Second Global Soil Week (GSW2) 2013 - “Losing Ground?”

The Second Global Soil Week (GSW 2013), opened on Monday, 28 October, with a creative interpretation of the conference theme of “Losing Ground?” by Theatersport Berlin. Two plenary sessions then took place, exploring what losing ground means in relation to the nexus of water, food and energy security, and other natural resources, and how land degradation affects people’s livelihoods in different parts of the world.

In the afternoon, four interactive dialogue sessions took place, organized around four thematic threads: material cycles; sustainable land management and soil engineering; international soil policy and sustainable development goals; and responsible land governance.

In the evening plenary session, “thematic ambassadors” for each of the four conference threads highlighted key issues from the dialogue sessions for inclusion in the final outcome document of the conference, Agenda for Action. This was followed by a closing plenary session on “Understanding soils in the nexus.”

Throughout the day, an informal “action forum” also took place, encouraging participants to creatively use all five senses to reflect on losing ground.

A floor poster illustrating soil connectedness to various environmental issues
Theatersport Berlin improvizational theater group, opened the kick-off session
Tarja Halonen, Co-Chair, UN Secretaray-
General's High-Level Panel on Global
Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director,
Institute for Advanced Sustainabilty
Studies (IASS)
Tanja Gönner, Chair of the
Management Board, Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany
Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for the Environment, European Commission, made a video address
Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director,
Stockholm International Water Institute
Vandana Shiva, Board Member,
International Forum on Globalization
Jes Weigelt, Global Soil Forum,
Coordinator, moderated the kick-off
L-R: Volkert Engelsman, CEO Eosta BV, the Netherlands, with Luc Gnacadja, former
Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification
Lindiwe Sibanda, Executive Director, Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), South Africa
César Morales, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
Pia Bucella, Director, Directorate B Natural Capital, European Commission
Tewolde Gebre Egziabher, Director-General,
Environmental Protection Agency, Ethiopia
Jae Yang, President, International Union
of Soil Sciences
L-R: Alexander Müller, Panel moderator, Senior Fellow, IASS, with Tewolde Gebre
, Director-General, Environmental Protection Agency, Ethiopia
Dialogue session on soil carbon management for sustaining agricultural productivity
Dialogue session promoting redevelopment, preventing land
uptake with Raf Tuts, UN-HABITAT, on a video presentation
Anika Lenz, UN-HABITAT, responding to questions
Dialogue session on the impacts of extractive industries on soil
Dialogue session on Economics of Land Degradation (ELD)
Stefan Schmitz, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation
and Development (BMZ) during the dialogue session on ELD
Dialogue session on "Money for the nexus"
Dialogue session on global soil information
Dialogue session on a EU legislative framework for soils
Florence Carré, Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques
(INERIS), presenting during the dialogue session on soil pollution
Joan Cuka Kagwanja, Chief, African
Land Policy Initiative, UN Economic
Commission for Africa and Thematic
Ambassador, Responsible Land Governance
Rattan Lal, Ohio State University, US and
Thematic Ambassador, Material Cycles
Liesl Denise Wiese, Researcher,
Agricultural Research Council -
Institute for Soil, Climate and
Water, South Africa and Thematic
Ambassador, Sustainable Land
Management and Soil Engineering
Ephraim Nkonya, Senior Research
Fellow, International Food Policy
Research Institute and Thematic
Ambassador, International Social Policy
and Sustainable Development Goals
Manfred Konukiewitz, Green Climate Fund,
moderated the session
L-R: Ania Grobicki, Executive Secretary, Global Water Partnership; Reinhard Hüttl, Executive Director,
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam; Alok Adholeya, Director, Biotechnology and Bioresources Division, TERI, India;
Lothar Hövelmann
, Managing Director, International Crop Production Centre, Germany; and Yaya Adisa
Olaitan Olaniran
, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to Rome-based UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture
Funding for coverage of this event has been provided by IASS Potsdam
IASS Potsdam
Related Links
Event resources

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IISD RS resources

*IISD RS coverage of the Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP11) - “A stronger UNCCD for a Land Degradation-Neutral World”, 16-27 September 2013, Windhoek, Namibia

*IISD RS summary report of the First GSW 2013, 18-22 November 2012, Berlin, Germany (HTML - PDF)

*LAND-L - A news and announcement list on land policy issues

*Land Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Addressing Sustainable Land

*SDG - A mailing list focused on internationally-relevant activities related to setting the post-2015 development agenda

*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Post-2015 Development Agenda Activities

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
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