Workshop “Establishment of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions”

On 8-10 December 2015 participants from different National Soil Information Institutions gathered at FAO Headquarters to join their efforts in order to establish the First International Network of Soil Information Institutions (INSII)


The main goal of the workshop Establishment of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions was to discus and decide the structure, roadmap, roles and responsibilities for the execution of Pillar 4 of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) dedicated to strengthening of soil data and information. The Plan of Action for Pillar 4 of the GSP  has required the active participation and contribution of national soil information institutions to create a collaborative network of Soil Information Institutions and foreseen the establishment of a distributed Global Soil Information System. The key principle of this system is the following: data remain with the data owner, and are shared via web services using agreed specifications for data exchange.

After first day workshop opening remarks by Moujahed Achouri (Director Land and Water Division, FAO), Ronald Vargas (GSP Secretariat, FAO) introduced Pillar 4 Implementation Plan (“Enhance the quantity and quality of soil data and information: data collection (generation), analysis, validation, reporting, monitoring and integration with other disciplines)), which was finalized during the following sections.

The second day of the workshop was dedicated to the discussion of the establishment of the Pillar 4 Working Group (P4WG) as well as of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions (INSII) and its components. During the afternoon, the participants were asked to consider each possible synergy effort with ongoing initiatives: Preparation of a Workplan 2015-2019.

On the third day, workshop participants reached an agreement on the structure, supporting facilities, roles and responsibilities and a roadmap for the execution of Pillar 4 Implementation Plan. The final half-day session on the way forward underlined the importance of overcoming possible challenges and reflected a growing willingness of all participants to engage in effective institutional dialogue on and promotion of INSII.

Draft Agenda of the Workshop “Establishment of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions (INSII)” is here.


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