The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI), an independent, volunteer, scientific body with 4000+ members across the globe, seeks to promote the inclusion of soil biodiversity science in new research, education, land management, and policy development for protection of soil biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides. Until recently, soil biodiversity has been virtually ignored by biodiversity and climate change research and policy initiatives even though it makes up at least 25% of all biodiversity on the earth. Because of the GSBI, this is changing.
In fulfilling its missions, the GSBI cooperates with internationally facing policy bodies, research initiatives, and governmental bodies, such as the European Union, to fill gaps in knowledge regarding soil biodiversity, create awareness about its importance to humans, and develop tangible actions for soil biodiversity conservation and restoration. Among the bodies that work with the GSBI:
- The Soil Biodiversity Observation Network (SoilBON)
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
- UN Global Soil Partnership’s (GSP) Global Soil Biodiversity Observatory (GLOSOB) and International Network on Soil Biodiversity (NETSOB)
The GSBI secretariat is housed at SoGES.
The GSBI, established in 2011, was invited by the UN Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) COP-15 in December of 2022 to work with other UN bodies to support the implementation of the UN CBD’s post 2020 global biodiversity framework with regard to soil related targets and actions including their monitoring and reporting: assist in implementation of a global soil biodiversity monitoring program. Along with the GSBI monthly newsletter and bi-monthly webinar series “GSBI Speaks!”, the GSBI organizes a tri-annual Global Soil Biodiversity Conference, held in Dublin, Ireland in 2023, Nanjing, China in 2017, and Dijon, France in 2014.