While soils are the fundamental pillars of sustainable development, they are facing increasing threats. To draw attention to this challenge and to upscale actions towards sustainable soil management, the first ever Global Soil Week was hosted by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Berlin from 18-22 November, 2012. The week sought to provide a platform to initiate follow-up actions on land and soil-related decisions made at the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference to offer a forum of interactive exchange and dialogue. At the week, stakeholders from science, government, business and civil society came together to share their land and soil-related experience and expertise, and to develop future plans of action for sustainable land/soil management and governance.
Several panels, platform sessions, and dialogue sessions were held on various relevant themes. One of particular interest was a dialogue session on securing the commons co-hosted by Maliasili Initiatives, the Rights and Resources Initiative, and the International Land Coalition. The session “reviewed the state of current knowledge around sustainable use and governance of communal natural resources, and examine threats to communal tenure of lands and resources in a range of different geographic contexts, and from points of reference as varied as gender dimensions, indigenous rights, biodiversity conservation, pastoralist land use, and forest governance.”