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International Workshop on "Legal instruments for the effective protection and sustainable management of soils" Kampala/Uganda, September 2017 - OUTCOMES

The international workshop was jointly organized and hosted by the German Environment Agency (Dr. Harald Ginzky), the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation - Climate Policy and Energy Security Program for Sub-Saharan Africa [CLESAP] - (Prof. Oliver Ruppel), Makerere University  (Prof. Emmanuel Kasimbazi)  and Kampala International University (Ms. Hadijah Yayha). About 50 experts from African countries and abroad (other countries as well as international organizations such as UNCCD, FAO, ASP, IUCN, GIZ) discussed the technical needs and legal control mechanisms of both an effective protection and sustainable management of soils in Africa and throughout the world. This workshop in Kampala/Uganda was opened with speeches by Ms. Petra Kochendörfer, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., German Embassy in Kampala and Mr. Vincent Ssempijja, Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Government of Uganda. Please find the workshop program 

The protection and sustainable management of soils is a precondition for sustainable development and moreover for the survival of humankind. Degraded soils, in particular in Africa, cause famine, poverty, migration and, under certain circumstances, even wars. Although insufficient protection and management of soils have transboundary effects it is necessary to take appropriate measures on a local and regional level. The challenges call for interdisciplinary action taking into account scientific, social, cultural, political, financial as well as legal needs.

The workshop had four focal points:

  1. Soil protection legislation in Africa: Needs for further development
  2. Land rights/Tenure in Africa as condition for Sustainable Soil Management
  3. Need for an African Soil Convention
  4. Future of International Soil Governance

The following results should be pointed out:

  • Basically, national soil legislation in Africa is often sufficient. However, the implementation is insufficient due to a lack of resources.
  • Clarity with regard to ownership of land is also crucial for the protection and sustainable management of land. Modern concepts of individualized property titles collide with traditional notions of collective rights.
  • There was an intensive debate about whether further international regulations are needed for the protection of soils in Africa or on a global level.

Details on the results of the workshop are documented in the informative "Outcome Document".

The workshop emphasized the need for effective soil protection in Africa and worldwide. Just because it raised awareness of the topic, especially in Africa, the workshop was a great success. The participants want to continue their communication and plan other activities such as cooperation, interdisciplinary workshops and awareness-raising activities.