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The 5th Plenary Meeting of the Eurasian Soil Partnership (EASP) took place on September 30 – October 1 2019 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. The meeting was jointly organized by the Secretariat of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), Eurasian Center for Food Security of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Institute of Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Soil Protection named after Nicolae Dimo, the Society of Soil Scientists of the Republic of Moldova on the basis of the Moldavian state university with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment of the Republic of Moldova. The event was attended by representatives of Armenia, Belarus, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The meeting participants discussed the results of the EASP activities on 5 Pillars of the GSP for 2017-2019, agreed and adopted the Eurasian Soil Partnership Implementation Plan for 2020-2023.The general report on the activities for the past period was presented by the Chairman of the EASP Gulchekhra Khasankhanova, then the leaders of 5 Pillars presented the results for each one. The representative of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey, and the Chair of Pillar 1 Hakki Erdogan, made a presentation on the interaction in the field of harmonization of analytical methods and measurement results between the European Soil Partnership and the EASP.

Participants supported the previously proposed initiative on the creation of a regional network of soil laboratories under the Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) project. The constitutive and first meeting of EUROSOLAN were held in Chisinau after the 5th Plenary EASP meeting on October 2-4. Then another significant soil event took place in Chisinau – the International Scientific Conference «East European Chernozems - 140 years after V.V. Dokuchaev». On the first day of the Conference, field trips and the meeting of the International Network of Black Soils took place.

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When discussing the Work Plan for 2020-2023, special attention was paid to the strategy of mobilizing resources and attracting investment in research. In particular, it was decided to participate in the preparation of a regional project for the Global Environment Facility (stage GEF7) to maintain a balance between the protection and use of soil resources in the Eurasian region.

The prospects for further EASP interaction with the projects of the regional office of the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), the World Bank, the global network on sustainable land management (WOCAT), and the Coordination of International Research Cooperation on Soil Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture (CIRCASA) and other organizations and programs were also considered.

As a result of the meeting, the Chisinau Communiqué was adopted, where the commitments and intentions of the members of the EASP for 2020-2023 were fixed. Important intentions of the Chisinau communiqué are:

      • Promoting the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Sustainable Soil Management and the International Code of Conduct for the Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizersin the EASP countries;
      • Supporting the financial and thematic contribution to the developing of regional grant applications (GEF, FTTP, EC and other financial mechanisms);
      • Promoting the dissemination of knowledge on soils through the media, the World Soil Day campaign, soil museums, and thematic classes for students at the national and regional levels;
      • Development of a program of activities and events for interaction with agricultural producers in order to identify gaps in knowledge and disseminate knowledge and experience;
      • Conducting small research projects on sustainable soil management (SSM), as well as promoting the publication and dissemination of research results.

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Photos from the event are available here.

Photo 1: Meeting participants / ECFS

Photo 2: Speech by Maria Konyushkova / ECFS