ISRIC World Soil Information is one of the participants in the task 'Global datasets' that is a subtask of the Global Earth Observing System of System (GEOSS).
The task supports the development of a global soil information system, building upon the work of ongoing and completed projects. The system will incorporate data from global, regional and national soil data projects into a coherent system using a common dictionary – to support implementation of major multilateral environmental agreements (e.g., UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD) and provide harmonized and policy-relevant information to users at the global, regional and national level. The system will deliver web-based services on soil information.
Background: Soil - the planet earth’s living skin - is regulating several key global processes including carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and water cycling. Global and local development such as improvement of food security, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions to curtail climate change, maintenance of biodiversity, supply of water and prod0uction of energy crops are heavily dependent on soils. Global soil information is mostly available in the form of area-class maps like for example the Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD). Digital soil mapping (DSM) techniques offer great opportunities to enhance existing soil information. These approaches are being used in international and global projects like e-SOTER and GlobalSoilMap.net and also in several smaller national projects.