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Side Event #2155


Date Wednesday
2016.12.07 @ 18:15
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Room Like Minded Mega Diverse Regional Group meeting room
Sunrise Building, Second Floor
Capacity: 60 people
Conference COP 13 / CP-COP-MOP 8 / NP-COP-MOP 2
Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
Title Mainstreaming soil biodiversity into global biodiversity
Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO)
Ecosystem Approach and Restoration


The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) promotes the translation of expert knowledge on soil biodiversity into environmental policy and sustainable land management for the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services. It is estimated that 25-30% of global biodiversity lives in soil, yet it remains an under-represented habitat in biodiversity science and policy.  Soil biota are critical for human well-being because their activities underpin soil resources and the delivery of major ecosystem services.  Soil organisms are integral to growing the food we eat, cleaning the water we drink, and recycling the air we breathe.  In addition, soil biodiversity supports terrestrial life; aboveground biodiversity cannot be protected and conserved without consideration of belowground organisms and processes.  Yet, large knowledge gaps exist in observing and understanding soil biodiversity.  Furthermore, soil biodiversity is at great risk due to pressures from human land use changes.  The GSBI and European Commission Joint Research Centre published the first Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas in May 2016.  In this event, we will highlight recent research synthesized in the Atlas and elsewhere estimating global soil biodiversity, threats to it, and ways to protect it.  The goal of this session is to facilitate a discussion on rapidly accumulating knowledge on the management of soil biodiversity for improved ecosystem services and highlight ways to integrate research developments into management practices and sustainable policy including the Aichi Targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Moderator:  Dr. Elizabeth Bach, Executive Director, Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative


Dr. Diana Wall

Science Chair, Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative

University Distinguished Professor

Director, School of Global Environmental Sustainability

Colorado State University


Dr. Isabelle Barios

INECOL, El Instituto de Ecologia


Dr. Braulio Dias

Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity


Dr. Thomas Lovejoy

Biodiversity Chair, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

George Mason University

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Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

The Atlas highlights the unseen majority of Earth's biodiversity and the critical role these organisms play in ecosystems: cycling nutrients and carbon, supporting plant growth, filtering water, decomposing organic material. The Atlas is a remarkable international scientific effort of 121 experts from 29 countries, resulting in an unprecedented collection of images, maps, and statistics for researchers and policy makers alike. It synthesizes the latest scientific research and identifies the importance of and key threats to soil biodiversity and functioning.

soil, diversity, threats, microbes, invertebrates, worms, insects  

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