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Meeting on the progress of the preparation of the WCSS 2018 at the IUSS headquarters in Vienna

On the 23rd of June, 2017 the former President of the Brazilian Soil Science Society, Gonzalo Farias, and Prof. Floria Bertsch, President of the Soil Science Society of Costa Rica, visited IUSS Secretary Sigbert Huber at his office in Vienna. They were accompanied by Prof.Winfried Blum, honorary member of IUSS and Secretary General of IUSS 1990-2002.

The purpose of the visit was to bring greetings from those Societies to the IUSS Secretary and, from the Brazilian side, to inform him and Prof. Blum on behalf of Prof.Flávio Camargo, chairman of the Organizing Committee, about the recent progress with the organization of the 21st WCSS in Rio2018 and to receive suggestions for the definitive set of conferences in the scientific programme.

The congress programme will be finalized and uploaded to the congress website very soon. From the Costa Rican side, administrative issues regarding both societies were discussed and solved.

Photo (from left to right): Gonzalo Farias, Floria Bertsch, Sigbert Huber, Winfried Blum

Meeting on the progress of the preparation of the WCSS 2018 at the IUSS headquarters in Vienna

Kick-off Conference for the Links4Soils Project

Project partners at the kick-off meeting in Ljubljana, May 2017

Caring for Soils – Where Our Roots Grow.
Interreg Project to Promote Sustainable Soil Management in the Alpine Space

Living soil performs multiple ecosystem services for humans. The Interreg Alpine Space project Links4Soils will raise the awareness of them to the surface and develop sustainable soil management practices in different sectors. The Links4Soils project officially started with a Kick-off Conference in Ljubljana. Main outputs of the project are the Alpine Soil Partnership linking experts and decision-makers and the Alpine soil information and decision web platform. The Alpine Soil Partnership will be embedded as a subgroup of the Global Soil Partnership of the FAO and work hand in hand with existing organisations dealing with soils in the Alpine region (e.g. ELSA, EUSALP and the Alpine Convention). In a bottom-up approach the project will develop sustainable management plans for different land uses and sectors in the Alpine space.

Project Website
Alpine Soils Platform

IUSS Distinguished Service Award for Prof. Klaus Töpfer

On 24 May 2017 the International Union of Soil Sciences awarded Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus Töpfer the Distinguished Service Medal in Berlin. The medal was presented during the Closing Plenary of the Global Soil Week 2017 addressing the theme ‘Catalyzing SDG Implementation through a Land and Soil Review.’ Attended by almost 300 participants, the meeting aimed to develop policy messages as input to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). With this award IUSS recognizes that Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus Töpfer translated knowledge of soil science into policy and governance as German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Civil Engineering and Urban Development; Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations; Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; founding and Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies. IUSS has been and shall continue to be pleased to work with Prof. Klaus Töpfer and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies towards the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular by providing knowledge and expertise on soil functions and their impacts on sustainable life on planet earth.

Thus far the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) has presented the Distinguished Service Medal to two prominent world citizens and policy makers. In 2012 the first medal was awarded to HRH the late King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej in order to recognize His outstanding achievements in soil care and sustainable soil and land management. The second medal was presented to HE Hon’ble Stéphan Le Foll for promoting soil science on the global agenda through COP21, and for pointing out that soil and agriculture present integral solutions to climate change and advancing food security by implementing the “4 per Thousand” programme.

Photo of award ceremony (from the left to the right): Dr. Stefan Schmitz (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), Prof. Dr. Takashi Kosaki (IUSS President Elect), Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer (founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies), Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn (IUSS Past President), Prof. Dr. Rattan Lal (IUSS President), Dr. Margaret Thalwitz (Chair of the Board of Trustees, ICARDA), Jochen Flasbarth (State Secretary at Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany), Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun (Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Germany).

IUSS represented at EGU General Assembly 2017

At EGU 2017 taking place in Vienna, 24 to 28 April 2017, IUSS will share a booth with the Brazilian, British and Italian Soil Science Society. The IUSS will present its Divisions and their most recent activities.

The IUSS Flyer was updated accordingly. In order to increase the extent of its contributions to solving soil-related issues such as climate change or food and water security through public outreach campaigns, education, dissemination of information and the publication of a series of soil books, IUSS is hosting the Short course ‘International Decade of Soils: Ideas for outreach activities’ on Tue, 25 Apr, 13:30–15:00 / Room -2.31. Ongoing activities carried out by soil science societies will be presented, which shall give rise to further activities as well as creating new ideas for the future.
Commission 2.2 Soil chemistry is convening session SS6.2/BG9.11 Soil organic matter turnover: from molecules to ecosystems and back again (co-organized), Orals / Wed, 26 Apr, 08:30–10:15 / Room -2.47, Posters / Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 17:30–19:00 / Hall X1. Division 4 is co-convening session SSS1.4 Soil, Art, Culture, and History, Orals on Tue, 25 Apr, 15:30–17:15 / Room -2.20, posters Tue, 25 Apr, 17:30–19:00 / Hall X1.
You are welcome to visit the booth and to join the sessions and the short course!
Read more
Download flyer

Call for nominations of IUSS Division and Commission Officers 2018-2022 will end 30 April 2017

The election process for the 4 Division chairs and 44 Commission chairs and vice chairs is ongoing. The First and Second Vice-Chairperson of each Division shall be appointed by and from the host country where the next World Congress of Soil Science will take place.
We are seeking nominations for all positions, and a description of the Divisions is given here: The description of the specific duties and functions of Divisions and Commission officers is given here:

IUSS Full Members (national soil science societies who paid the membership fees) are encouraged to look for suitable candidates and propose them to the Divisional Nominating Committees. Nominees cannot be nominated for more than one position.

The application should include the position, a 100 words biography and homepage URL, if available. It should be sent by IUSS Full Members to:
Positions in Division 1: Prof. Erika Micheli at
Positions in Division 2: Prof. Kazuyuki Inubushi at
Positions in Division 3: Prof. Bal Ram Singh at
Positions in Division 4: Prof. Christian Feller at

The timeline is as follows:
30 April 2017 – call for nominations ends
2 June 2017 – list of candidates and their biographies available
1 September 2017 – voting system will open
31 December 2017 – voting system will close
12 February 2018 – announcement of new IUSS officers

We look forward to receiving your application and candidacy.

Soils within cities

Global approaches to their sustainable management - composition, properties, and functions of soils of the urban environment

Levin/Kim/Morel/Burghardt/Charzynski/Shaw (Eds.), February 2017 by Schweizerbart Science Publishers in the series GeoEcology Essays, 253 pages, 113 figures, 23 tables, ISBN 978-3-510-65411-6. The book can be ordered from the IUSS Secretariat () at the price of €29.90 plus shipping costs; a reduced rate of €25.00 (plus shipping) is available for IUSS members.

Global approaches to their sustainable management – composition, properties, and functions of soils of the urban environment

IUSS recommends using paypal for payments

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As the proportion of people living in urban areas has been and still is increasing, Soils within Cities: Global approaches to their sustainable management undertakes to shed light on the role and importance of soils in cities, and stresses the need to consider and manage this unique component of the urban ecosystem on our way to build sustainable cities. Edited on behalf of the International Union of Soil Sciences, this book is the result of a joint effort of the international SUITMA (Soils of the Urban, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas) working group of the International Union of Soil Sciences. Thirty-four short contributions comprehensively highlight key aspects and characteristics of soils of the urban ecosystem and the problems and challenges associated with them. The authors lay out the fundamentals of soil science applied to anthropized environments (environments degraded by human activity), including composition, properties, and functions of soils of the urban environment, their pedogenic evolution, classification and mapping. Furthermore, contributions present examples of actual urban soil surveys conducted in the US, Poland, Germany and Russia. Approaches to managing soils of the urban environment with focus on brownfields, soil sealing and urban agriculture, and the management of soil sealing are described.
A separate chapter is dedicated to the ecosystem services urban soils can provide, including sustaining and controlling water quality and quantity, providing C and P storage capacity, supporting biodiversity, pollution problems, and pointing out ecosystem services that even contaminated industrial and mine soils are able to provide. “Soils within Cities” is aimed at expanding our view of soils of our planet, and having them taken into consideration for human well-being. It provides city planners and managers with a special reference that can serve to offer citizens a better life in the long run.

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Call for nominations for the Dan Yaalon Young Scientist Medal 2017

This medal will be awarded by IUSS Division 1 Soils in Space and Time and Commission 4.5 History, philosophy and sociology of soil science.

The nominees may be proposed by institutions, societies, commissions and working groups of the IUSS, and by individuals. Self-nomination is not encouraged.
The proposal for nomination should include a short justification, including the main steps of the scientific career of the nominee, his/her main scientific publications and the major contribution to the development of one or more of the following fields: Soil morphology and micromorphology, soil geography, soil genesis, soil classification, pedometrics, palaeopedology, history of soil science, philosophy of soil science, sociology of soil science.

The deadline for nominations ends on Dec. 1, 2017.
The decision will be made at least on Feb. 1, 2018.

Please send applications to the chair of the nomination committee, Prof. Karl Stahr,

For further details, please click here

Kubiëna Medal

The Kubiëna Medal was introduced by Subcommission B – Soil Micromorphology of the ISSS to commemorate the memory of Walter L Kubiëna for his distinguished contribution to soil micromorphology. It is given for outstanding and sustained performance in the discipline of soil micromorphology and to date there have been eight awards: E. Yarilova, R. Brewer, H.J Altemüller, G. Stoops, E.A FitzPatrick, L. Wilding , H. Mucher, N. Fedoroff and R. Miedema. The next medal will be presented at the 2018 IUSS Congress in Rio. More information:

1. Statement of key achievements and career highlights of the nominee (1 page)
2. Curriculum vitae detailing career history and publication record of the nominee
3. Name of proposer and seconder for the nominee
4. Any other relevant information in support of the nominee
5. Full address and contact details for the nominee

Need nominations, due end April 2017
Send to:

Call for nominations for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Land for Life Award

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat is currently inviting partners, governmental organizations and civil society organizations to nominate candidate(s) for the UNCCD Land for Life Award 2017. The Land for Life Award recognizes excellence and innovation of individuals or organizations who have made outstanding contributions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 “Life on Land”, in particular Target 15.3 “Land Degradation Neutrality”.
Under the theme” Land and Human Security”, the 2017 Award will give spotlights to those whose work has tremendously contributing to stability and security of communities suffered from the impacts of land degradation and desertification.

The deadline of nomination submission is 28 February 2017. Nominators are required to filled in the nomination form, briefly describe the candidate(s) works, and provide the rationale for nominating the candidate. Please return the completed form to . The Candidates Selection Criteria and Template of Nomination are as attached.

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IUSS Distinguished Service Award for French Minister Le Foll

On 6 January 2017 the event “Soil and Climate Change: the 4p1000 initiative” was organized by IUSS and INRA in honour of HE Hon’ble Stephane Le Foll, the Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of France. The scientific seminar addressed a very pertinent theme of soil carbon sequestration which is in accord with the “4 per Thousand” Initiative conceptualized and promoted by the Minister.

Photo of award ceremony: Takashi Kosaki (IUSS President Elect), Christian Feller (IUSS Division 4 Chair), Rattan Lal (IUSS President), Stéphan Le Foll (Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of France), Rainer Horn (IUSS Past President)

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) has thus far presented the Distinguished Service Medal to two prominent world citizens and policy makers. The first medal was awarded to HRH the late King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2012. The second medal was presented to HE Hon’ble Stéphan Le Foll for promoting soil science on the global agenda through COP21, and making soil and agriculture integral solutions to climate change and advancing food security. By so doing, HE Mr. Stéphane Le Foll effectively translated the scientific information of soil science into a global action programme. By implementing the “4 per Thousand” programme, Mr. Le Foll has enhanced the awareness of the importance of soil and its management for addressing the global issues of the 21st century. IUSS shall be pleased to work with him and the other members of the scientific team involved in implementing the “4 per Thousand” Initiative and support it globally.

Framework for a Strategic Plan for Soil Science

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is releasing a framework for Federal soil science, and announcing new actions to protect soil health. The framework is open for public comments until the 10th of January 2017.

Soil is essential to human life. Not only is it vital for providing most of the world’s food, it also plays a critical role in ensuring water quality and availability; supports a vast array of non-food products and benefits, including mitigation of climate change; and sustains the biodiversity needed for ecological resilience. These roles make soil essential to modern life. Thus, it is imperative that everyone—city dwellers, farmers and ranchers, land owners, and rural citizens alike—take responsibility for caring for and investing in our soils. Given their importance, soil must be protected from degradation, as the alternative is the loss of an array of important ecosystem services.

Please follow to read the complete article…

Opening remarks of IUSS President on the occasion of World Soil Day 2016

On behalf of the International Union of Soil Sciences the IUSS President Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn had the privilege and honour to convey opening remarks on the occasion of the World Soil Day celebration by FAO in Rome. This year the World Soil Day celebration is linked to the end of the International Year of Pulses and gives us a very positive feedback mechanism and a unique opportunity to define the symbiosis of life. Please read more in following download…

BSSS appoints Royal as Patron to help secure soils for the future

The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is delighted to announce that His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO will be their new Patron. His Royal Highness takes over the role from Lord De Ramsey.

Please download the complete announcement

SOIL CONNECTS is the biannual newsletter of Division 4 in the International Union of Soil Sciences.

The actual issue #5 has been published including following articles:

“Part II. What can we do about this?”
“2016 IUSS Inter-congress Meeting”
“The Soil: the wonder beneath our feet”
“Book Review”
“Engendering connection to soil through asthetics”
“Sowing seeds in the city”
“Ecosystem service podcast tutorials”
“See this blank space”

and can be found right here

Pedometron newsletter #39 published

Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to present Issue 39 of Pedometron.
This year has been a busy and also a rough ride, and some said that it opens a period of uncertainty.
Maybe it is time for pedometricians to tackle more uncertainty, as Claude Shannon once said, “Information is the resolution of uncertainty”. Thus Pedometrics will keep working to resolve this issue.
The Pedometrics commission continues with the annual Best Pa-per award nomination. Please read the nominated 2015 papers, and vote for it. As a result of the meeting in Cordoba last year, we now officially has the Margaret Oliver Award for early-carreer pedometricians. Nomination is now open.
We will be celebrating 25 years of Pedometrics in 2017. The first Pedometrics conference was held on September 1-3, 1992 at Wageningen. And the first official publication was published as a Special Issue of Geoderma (1994, Vol. 62, Nos. 1-3: 1-326). Pe-dometrics was established as a provisional working group of the ISSS in 1988.
I hope to see you all next year in this exciting meeting. The or-ganising committee promises for an exhilarating adventure.

Please visit the pedometrics website:
Download the newsletters right here:

Sydney, November 2016
Budiman Minasny

Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand (1927-2016)

It is with enormous sadness that we hear of the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In addition to his outstanding leadership of Thailand, he was globally recognised as a leader in the promotion of sustainable soil management.
Following the World Congress of Soil Science held in Bangkok in 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences proposed, in recognition of the outstanding leadership provided by King Bhumibol in promoting practices of sustainable soil management to ensure Food Security, the international celebration of World Soil Day on December 5th, His Majesty’s birthday.

It was through King Bhumibol’s enthusiastic encouragement that the United Nations formally adopted December 5th as World Soil Day and furthermore pronounced 2015 to be The International Year of Soils. Through his leadership soil scientists globally and in particular in South East Asia were provided with encouragement in the development of soil management strategies which are both sustainable and relevant to the farmers who use them. The passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is a great loss for Thailand, but also to Soil Science.

The IUSS Secretariat has dispatched a letter of condolences to the Royal Family of Thailand, the Land Development Department of Thailand and the Soil and Fertilizer Society of Thailand.

Outcome of 2016 IUSS Presidential Election

The election of the next IUSS President has been concluded. The Council (National Soil Science Societies in good financial standing with IUSS, Executive Committee members and 3 Honorary Members) cast their vote by the closing date 15 September 2016. The result of the election was presented to the President and Executive Committee and subsequently announced to members by email and on the IUSS website: Takashi Kosaki received the majority of the votes and was the successful candidate in this election. He will take up the position of President-Elect on 1st January, 2017. IUSS was very pleased to have two very good candidates and to have a contested election.

Margaret Oliver Award for Early-career Pedometricians

Call for Nominations, 2017 award

The Pedometrics Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is pleased to introduce a new award, which is intended to recognize up-and-coming talent in pedometrics. The award is named for Margaret Oliver, in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the promotion and encouragement of pedometricians in the early stages of their careers as well as her overall service to pedometrics. The award will be given at each biennial meeting of the Pedometrics Commission starting with the Pedometrics 2017 , 26-June – 01-July 2017 in Wageningen ( ). Nominations should be sent before December 1, 2016.
Download for further information

Call for nominations Best Paper in Pedometrics 2015

D G Rossiter, Chairman Pedometrics Awards Committee

Following the successful process for Best Paper in Pedometrics 2014, won by Nathan Odgers and colleagues , we are now ready to repeat the process for papers published in 2015. Nominations are now open for the “Best Paper in Pedometrics 2015” award, to be presented at Pedometrics 2017 “Celebrating 25 years: 26th June – 2nd July 2017” (Wageningen NL) . Early next year (2017) we will repeat the exercise for the best paper of 2016, but we want to spread the work out and also have papers nominated while they are still fresh in your minds. This is a prestigious award, which recognizes work that is judged to be of importance and of excellent quality by your peers. It stimulates us all to do top-quality, influential and innovative work.

Download for further information

IUSS booth at EGU General Assembly in Vienna

For the second time, the IUSS successfully presented itself at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, April 18-22, 2016. This time the IUSS booth was on the main exhibition floor, shared by the IUSS, ESSC, BSSS, JSSSPN, JSP, and TMU. EGU 2016 attracted more than 13,650 participants bringing together geoscientists from all over the world, covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The IUSS took this opportunity to present a new flyer and posters of the 4 IUSS Divisions, which were well received. An inflatable globe showing the world’s soils attracted particular attention. Another highlight was the announcement of the International Decade of the Soil with a view to recent achievements and planned future activities. Related information material and copies of the Vienna Soil Declaration were made available. In addition, a questionnaire was distributed among the people visiting the IUSS booth to get information on what participants thought about the success of IYS events and potential IUSS outreach activities. Ideas were sought on how to further promote soil issues.



Call for Innovations for the SDGs

The first annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) will be held at the United Nations in New York, on June 6 and 7, 2016.

Among other things, the STI Forum will aim to feature innovations and solutions for the sustainable development goals. In this context, the Inter-agency Task Team on STI for the SDGs (IATT) and the 10-Member Group to support the TFM are supporting a Call for Action for the sharing of Innovations for the SDGs via

Innovations submitted to the platform will be reviewed and a number of them will be chosen to be highlighted at the first annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs.

Please submit contributions by 30 April 2016 through

You can support this Call for Innovations for the 2016 STI Forum by:

The infrastructure for the Call for Action is provided by the Global Innovation Exchange (GIE), a global online marketplace for innovations, funding, insights, resources and conversations, which matches funding opportunities, free services, resources, and support, and experts with innovators.

Innovations submitted to the Call will be publicly featured in GIE’s searchable database used by press, donors, funders and investors, and will receive access to a comprehensive list of all available innovation funding opportunities across development (more than 200+ million dollars).

Tobias and Wei

Tea Bag Index – to create a global soil map of tea bag decomposition.

The Tea bag index measures decay of plant material by using two types of tea bags (green and rooibos) as standard plant. Tea bags are placed in the soil and weight loss is determined after three months. As the tea types are composed of different material, their decomposition is indicative for a two phased decomposition model, with a fast initial phase and a slower second phase when weight loss levels off. With the decay of easy to decompose green tea one can determine how much of the labile fraction of the material is decomposed and how much is stabilized (S). Rooibos tea decomposes much slower and after three months, it is still in the first phase of decomposition. Thereby, the weight loss of rooibos tea is a proxy of the initial decomposition rate (k).By this it becomes easy to compare sites in an easy and standardized way and test climatic forcing on decomposition with a high resolution.

If you are interested to join this experiment, and agree with the terms and conditions below, please fill in the table at the bottom of this document and send it to . Evaluation of the proposed contributions and invitations to become co-author can be expected one month after applying. After 1 February 2017 it is not possible to apply anymore.

Please follow:

Call for Nominations – 2016 Young Micromorphology Publication Award

DUE July 31, 2016

Commission 1.1: Soil Morphology and Micromorphology will award the Young Micromorphologist’s Publication Award every 2 years: at each International Working Meeting on Micromorphology, and at each World Congress of Soil Science.
The purpose of this award is to encourage and promote the use of soil micromorphology by young scientists. The Award will be given to one or more young scientist who has published research in the preceeding 4 years, that is an outstanding contribution to the principles, methodology, or application of micromorphology. The author must be less than 35 years old at the time of acceptance of the publication, and he/she must be the first author. The paper must be published in an international journal with wide distribution, but not necessarily a scientific journal. The award is not restricted to papers published in the English language only.
The selection of the awardees will be the responsibility of the Kubiena Award Committee.
Applicants should submit the following: (1) a pdf file of the paper (only one per candidate) to be considered for the award, (2) proof of age for eligibility (ex: photocopy of ID or other document with birthdate), and (3) a cover letter explaining why it should be considered for this award. Letters of support from senior micromorphologists, outlining the qualities of the publication are also welcome.
Applications are due July 31, 2016.
Send to:
Dr. Rosa M Poch
Dep. Medi Ambient I Ciències del Sòl
Universitat de Lleida
Av. Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida
Catalonia (Spain)
Fax: +34973702613

Invitation to an online consultation: Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management

The ‘Zero draft’ of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM), developed in order to promote sustainable soil management effectively in all regions, is open for discussion. Your input is necessary to allow the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils of the Global Soil Partnership to better frame the multifaceted needs of all the stakeholders. The latest comments received on this draft are online available and we invite you to contribute to this important document. Open until 7.3.2016

Read more:

IUGS Call for Geopark Application Reviewers

Dear IUGS National Committees and fellow scientists,

The UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN) provides a global platform of active cooperation between experts and practitioners in geological heritage. Under the umbrella of UNESCO and through regional network partners, significant national geological sites gain worldwide recognition and visibility through tourism as well as best practices within the scientific and education community.

A Geopark is an area with significant geological heritage with a strong management structure and sustainable economic development strategy in place. Within a designated Geopark area, geological heritage and education is promoted to visitors and local communities and makes links to the broader aspects of the area’s natural and cultural environment.

The UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN) continues to expand each year, currently comprising 120 Global Geoparks in 33 countries. In 2015, 17 new applications and two extension requests were submitted to UNESCO and these are now under evaluation. UNESCO GGN develops models of best practice and sets Geopark quality standards.

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) is a partner with UNESCO and the GGN and assists in finding geoscientists who are willing to evaluate the geological sections of each new Geopark application for their international significance. IUGS is currently seeking reviewers for the geological sections of each of the seventeen (17) Geopark applications and for the two extension requests for 2016. Please respond if you are an expert in the field of geoscience relevant to one of the aspiring Geopark applications listed below (or if you can suggest an expert colleague), and are willing to examine the application file and complete a short evaluation form regarding the significance of the geological heritage under consideration. For a quicker overview we’ve prepared et the beginning of descriptions a short geological domains summary table for the applications.

We are seeking evaluators who have direct knowledge of the site or have expertise in the science being presented. Reviewers should either be experienced in the site or the science in order to provide expert judgment on the importance and international significance of the geological heritage of the aspiring Geopark. Reviewers will be sent the geological section of each application file and will receive a self-explanatory evaluation form. Evaluations are performed on a volunteer basis.

Your expert comments are very much appreciated as they are critical to the Geopark evaluation process and help maintain the global standards of the Global Geoparks Network.

This year timeline is very tight and is as follows:
- the complete geological section of the application, together with the evaluation form is available at the following page:
- the evaluation form/reviews returned by 31 March.

If you are willing to perform a (desk-top) review on any one of the aspiring Geoparks, please reply by 1 March and include the following information:

(1) Which of the Geopark applications are you willing to perform an evaluation of.
(2) Please state if you have direct experience with the site or expertise in the geoscientific values of the site.
(3) Please submit your full contact details including: name, title, institution/affiliation, full address, country, email, and area of scientific expertise.

Please submit this information before the 1 March 2016 to: Marko Komac, IUGS Vice-President & liaison with Geoparks,

Let me also draw your attention to the open call for the UNESCO Global Geoparks field evaluators that can be found at the with a deadline 4 March 2016. Do note that the two calls are different and that participating in desktop evaluation process enables the application to the Geoparks field evaluators’ roster.

Thank you for your consideration,

Marko Komac
IUGS GGN Liaison
IUGS Vice-President 2012-2016
OneGeology Managing Director

Celebration of the 2015 International Year of Soils – Achievements and Future Challenges, Soil Declaration Vienna

Celebration of the 2015 International Year of Soils – Achievements and Future Challenges

IAEA/Vienna International Centre, Austria, December 7, 2015. The IUSS together with the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture organized this conference in Vienna to celebrate the International Year of Soils (IYS) together with the World Soil Day (WSD).

Speakers from regional soil science societies (Africa, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America), the IUSS Council, the chairs and vice-chairs of the IUSS Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups as well as several high level representatives from FAO, IAEA and partners were invited to discuss the achievements of the IYS and the future challenges in soil science as well as opportunities for international cooperation.

In the course of this highly successful event, which attracted more than 120 participants from all over the world, a draft version of the Vienna Soil Declaration “Soil matters for humans and ecosystems” was adopted and the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024) proclaimed by Rainer Horn, IUSS President. The end of the International Decade of Soils coincides with the centennial anniversary of the International Union of Soil Sciences.

Panel Opening

Panel Opening



Aldo Malavasi, Lee Heng

Aldo Malavasi, Lee Heng

Hamid Marah, Moujahed Achouri

Hamid Marah, Moujahed Achouri

Hamid Marah, Sathaporn Jaiarree

Hamid Marah, Sathaporn Jaiarree

Panel on achievement reports

Panel on achievement reports

Ahmed Mermut, Rainer Horn

Ahmed Mermut, Rainer Horn

Mamadou Traore, Monica Barbazan

Mamadou Traore, Monica Barbazan

Takashi Kosaki, Jae Yang, Carolyn Olson

Takashi Kosaki, Jae Yang, Carolyn Olson

Ian Hollingsworth

Ian Hollingsworth

Kurt Weinberger

Kurt Weinberger

Celebration of IYS 7th Dec. 2015, Vienna

Winfried Blum, Rainer Horn, Kurt Weinberger, Karl Kienzl, Sigbert Huber

Kazuyuki Inubushi

Kazuyuki Inubushi

Lee Heng and Rainer Horn holding a ball showing the diversity of soils on our planet.

Lee Heng, Rainer Horn

IYS Activities in Mexico

During the International Year of Soils a lot of events were organized worldwide until now. In Mexico a number of meetings, courses, and conferences by Universities took place.
From 18. – 27. July 2015 the International course in Soil Science applied to soils in the Mexican tropics took place at the University of Quintana Roo (UQRoo), The Colegio de Posgraduados campus Tabasco (Col.Pos. Tabasco) and the University of Science and Arts of Chiapas (UNICACH)
You´ll find an overview containing a lot of great pictures provided by PhD. Patricia Fragoso Servón below.

Letter from Takashi Kosaki

Prof. Takashi Kosaki, chair Div. 3 / IUSS from Tokyo Metropolitan University, sent greetings from Japan to Prof. Hans-Peter Blume.

Data expert nomiation from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region

The ICSU Executive Board (EB) renewed the membership of the World Data System Scientific Committee in June 2015 and appointed new members for a 3-year term. In the event, the EB also decided to leave a vacant seat to be populated by an expert from the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.

We would like to solicit the help of ICSU Union Members to identify suitable data experts from this region. The expert should have a good knowledge of the research data landscape including data centres, data service providers, and other organizations involved in data activities in the LAC region. WDS is hoping to to recruit new members organizations from the LAC region and the appointed expert is expected to play an important role in this context.

Members of the WDS-SC are expected to attend two face to face meetings (travel expenses will be covered by WDS-IPO and ICSU) and monthly teleconferences, but also to contribute to some operational tasks supported by the IPO in between meetings. Such tasks include reviewing a couple of WDS membership applications per year, conducting expedited reviews of WDS Members reports, and attending occasional meetings to represent WDS. It is expected that these duties build on synergies with the current position of the nominee (see attached call for nominations for more details).

Please send us nominations on the template (download Nomination Form below). We hope to identify a suitable member by the end of November.

Charles Ebikeme, Ph.D. / Science Officer
International Council for Science (ICSU)
5 rue Auguste Vacquerie, 75116 Paris, France
Email / Tel. +33 1 45 25 06 01 / skype: charles.icsu
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Call for Nominations: Kirkham Medal

The Kirkham Medal Selection Committee is seeking nominations for the Don & Betty Kirkham Medal, to be presented at the 2016 Kirkham Conference in Israel. The Medal is awarded every eight years to a retired soil scientist who has made unique, inspirational teaching, research and professional contributions in soil physics. For nominations, send a short nomination letter (single page) with CV of the nominee to the Kirkham Medal Committee Chair , before November 1, 2015.

Movie category soils – a non-renewable livelihood!

Soil is the foundation of our lives and of all ecosystem services, although it is so far little present in public consciousness. But it is a very important part of our nature: it enables food production, serves as an important water storage and water filter, convert and dissipate organic residues and makes pollutants harmless. Remarkably there are more organisms living in soils than on its surface!

Today we take soil for granted, resulting in numerous negative consequences such as soil loss and soil destruction. 350-400 km² of arable soils are lost every day worldwide.

Now it is necessary to protect soils sustainably as a resource and therefore for our existence. For that reason the United Nations proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Soils. The World Soil Day (5th of December) also offers an annually opportunity to point the way for the importance of soil as a resource and to campaign for soil protection.

This year the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival calls to send in films about soils. For the first time there is a separate category for films concerning soils which also has its own film award. Each film is an important contribution to raise the awareness for soil.

For more information see:

Call for nominations for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR)

Call for nominations for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme’s Science Committee was launched by ICSU, ISSC and UNISDR. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 30 June 2015, to .

Related documents are available here:

IUSS booth at EGU General Assembly in Vienna

The IUSS successfully presented itself at booth No. G19 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2015, Vienna, Austria, April 12-17, 2015. EGU 2015 attracted more than 12,000 participants bringing together geoscientists from all over the world, covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences.

The IUSS took this opportunity to present a new flyer and posters, which were well received. The World Soil Map according to WRB and US Soil Taxonomy respectively were displayed, showing the diversity of soils around the planet. A globe showing the world’s soils attracted particular attention. Another highlight was the announcement of the 21st World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS), which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12-17, 2018.

In addition, a wide array of information material from the national soil science societies was made available to the participants. Rainer Horn, IUSS President, gave a speech on soil strength in the course of session Soils of the world: from natural to urban soils. Another one of his speeches on Soil Science Societies and their role for improving soil governance at a global leveI, held in Brazil, was made available at the booth.

From left to right: President Rainer Horn, Honorary Member Jan Bouma, Secretary Sigbert Huber, Treasurer Andreas Baumgarten

IUSS Presentation at No. G19 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2015, Vienna, Austria


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Page created: 12.04.2018 | Page updated: 04.04.2021

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