The plan of the South American Alliance for Land

Almost half of the soils in Latin America and the Caribbean are deficient in nutrients and other deficiencies, even degradation and impoverishment of land reaches more than half of the territories in some countries of the region.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the representatives of the countries that make up the South American Alliance for Soil, SSP, approved an ambitious plan that seeks to promote the use and sustainable management of soil in the perspective to ensure and guarantee future food security.

The eradication of hunger, which has been set as the main objective of the governments of the region to achieve in 2025, will not be possible without enjoying the fertility

of the soils, nor will it be possible to face the challenges of climate change or sustainable development without healthy soils.

The plan of the SSP, gathered in the city of Paysandú, Uruguay, is a project to exchange experiences, homogenize the methods and instruments for the measurement of soil quality and intensify scientific cooperation among peoples, promoting the use and sustainable management , adaptation to climate change, the provision of ecosystem services and sustainable development.

Since the countries of the region do not have adequate legislation for the protection of the soil - and in which it exists, it is scarcely applied due to technical or political inadequacies, among other reasons - the Alliance facilitates the links between the countries with management programs and activities national and local land, in the perspective of joint work and the development of coordination and synergies.

The soil is at risk

Almost half of the soils in Latin America and the Caribbean are deficient in nutrients and other deficiencies, even degradation and impoverishment of the land reaches more than half of the territories in some countries of the region.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the 14% of the world's lands are lacking in quality or with some degree of degradation, which directly affects 150 million people. In the region comprising Mexico and Central America, erosion and degradation is even greater, affecting 26% of the territory.

Regarding the fertility of the land, the situation is more worrying because the deficiency of nutrients affects almost half of the soils of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the case of aridity, it affects almost 20% of soils and 10% manifests drainage problems, to this we must add the contamination of the soils resulting from work related to the mining industry and the industry dedicated to oil activity, in addition to the change of land use and the expansion of cities towards land suitable for agricultural cultivation.

With respect to climate change, the role of soils is fundamental for its high capacity to store organic carbon in the first meter of depth, and sustain vegetation floors, contributing in a complementary way to climate regulation.

The Alliance Plan is based on five pillars

The Plan that the South American Alliance is implementing in the ten countries that comprise it, including Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as Chile, focuses on the five pillars of the World Alliance for the Soil (AMS).

The first is to promote sustainable land management and improve governance for its protection and sustainable productivity.

The second is to encourage investment, technical cooperation, policy development, education, awareness and extension of land resources and the creation of an Observatory of common policies.

Pillar three promotes applied research and development, and the fourth seeks to improve the quality and quantity of soil data and information to build a database and thereby strengthen the Soil Information System of Latin America (SISLAC), among others.

The last agreed objective focuses on the establishment of voluntary guidelines on standardized methods and measurements to strengthen the management and protection of the soil resource.

Origins of the Latin American Alliance for the Soil

FAO, in 2012, through the Secretariat of the World Alliance for Soil (AMS) established the Latin American Alliance for Land in 2012.

In 2014 it was divided into the Regional Alliance for Soils for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean (ARS-CAMC) and the South American Alliance for Soil (SSP).

Source: Blueberriesconsulting / FAO

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