WCEL Soil Specialist Group members contributed to developments at the international and national levels concerning law for soil during 2012.
WCEL Soil Specialist Group members contributed to the development of the UNCCD Secretariat publication Policy Brief on Zero Net Land Degradation: A Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20. One of the key recommendations from the Policy Brief is for a new legal instrument (such as a Protocol on Zero Net Land Degradation) to the UNCCD, as a global monitoring framework. To help promote the process, WCEL Soil Specialist Group drafted a protocol and detailed commentary for discussions purposes; the Group also conducted a workshop at the IUCN WORLD Conservation Congress on the proposal for a global soil convention.
In November 2012, WCEL Specialist Group Members participated in the Global Soil Policy session of Global Soil Week (promoted by Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies Berlin) and presented an outline for a possible international instrument for soil, including a Protocol on Zero Net Land Degradation. A working group was formed to consider various options for a global soil instrument and report back to the 2013 Global Soil Week next November. This working group will work cooperatively with the WCEL Soil Specialist Group.
WCEL Specialist Group Members analyzed the legal and policy framework to manage soil carbon sequestration in the grassland regions of China and Mongolia. This work was undertaken under an Asian Development Bank program. Recommendations were made to improve to the existing legal systems of these countries to manage soils. A WCEL Specialist Group Member has been assisting the IUCN Business and Biodiversity Program in a legal definition for land degradation to include in the European Union Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
WCEL Soil Specialist Group members published a range of articles and publications during 2012 on various international and national legal aspects of soils.