Humans depend on living soil resources for their nutrition, recreation, and health needs. Yet, the current and future response of global soil biodiversity to human activities and the consequences for ecosystems and their essential functions remains unknown. Implementing operational and sustained programs to detect changes to soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning as a result of human activities is critical to understanding and managing impacts on natural capital and ecosystem services.

Constituted as a global Soil Biodiversity Observation Network (Soil BON), this group is working in partnership with the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) and other global and regional partners to make available the soil biological and ecosystem observations needed to ensure living soil resources are sustainably conserved and managed and can support essential human needs.

Soil BON partners represent a range of stakeholders, including researchers, educators, and policy advisors from academic, governmental, and private sectors. The goal is to further connect multi-national partners and initiatives in a worldwide effort to understand soil biodiversity, document how it is changing, how these changes affect people who rely on soil living resources for their well-being and livelihoods, and how a sustainable use of ecosystems can safeguard soil biodiversity.

Soil BON supports the development of a global community for the observation, understanding, and prediction of soil biodiversity, being a forum to network groups to advance methods for observing soil biodiversity including integration of information across spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales. This includes addressing capacity building needs from observations to informatics, helping to integrate existing and new field data following agreed international standards.

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