Healthy Soils for Healthy Food Systems





Feb 17, 2022


Sustainable Land Use: Role of Soils for Sustainable Food Systems

February 17, 2022, 10:00am - 11:30am EST

“Healthy soils are our allies in combating global hunger, the climate crisis, and the extinction of species. However, they are under pressure: they are severely affected by land sealing and soil degradation. It is, moreover, essential that farmers worldwide have access to land and are able to manage soils over the long term. We need to act now — and we need to act in global solidarity.“ - Cem Özdemir, German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture

The United Nations’ goal of achieving a world without hunger by 2030 is directly linked to protecting the soil. We must use land resources sustainably and preserve existing agricultural land in order to feed the growing global population, keep global warming below 2°C, and reduce the loss of biodiversity.

At the 14th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), held January 24–28, 2022, some 80 agriculture ministers and representatives of international organizations from across the globe agreed on a range of measures to significantly strengthen the sustainable use and management of soils the world over. They were joined by representatives from academia, private sector, and civil society from 150 nations. The GFFA communiqué emphasizes the need to minimize soil degradation and restore degraded soils, and highlights the critical role that soils can play as carbon sinks. It also calls for clear rules to ensure equitable access to land.

At this policy seminar, the key outcomes of the GFFA will be presented and discussed, with a particular focus on the policy commitments and partnerships essential for improving soil health and stewardship to sustainably meet the world’s food needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Introduction and Context Setting

  • Johan Swinnen, Global Director, CGIAR Systems Transformation Science Group & Director General, IFPRI

Presentation of the Main Results of the GFFA

  • Cornelia Berns, Deputy Director General, Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, Germany

Panel Discussion

  • Teddie Kamoto, Deputy Director of Forestry, Department of Forestry, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy & Mining, Republic of Malawi
  • Jawoo Koo, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, The Ohio State University
  • Caitrin Martin, Agricultural Scientific Analyst, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Martien van Nieuwkoop, Global Director, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank

Closing remarks

  • Astrid Jakobs de Pádua, Minister Counselor, Head of Department for Food and Agriculture, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany


  • Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Strategic and communications leader in food policy and agriculture development




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