IUCN WCEL Soil, Desertification, and Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Group (SDSA) focuses expertise around the world on the development of legal guidelines and explanatory material with special attention to the ecological function of soil, the prevention of desertification, and the role of sustainable agriculture systems for the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of human life.
- Continue to implement original mandate based on the parameters of the first “Soil” Resolution of the IUCN World Conservation Congress, Amman Jordan 2000, which requests the IUCN Environmental Law Program – “in its development of legal guidelines and explanatory material, and investigation into a global legal instrument for the sustainable use of soils, to pay particular attention to the ecological needs of soil and their ecological functions for the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of human life”
- Assist individual countries with soil, desertification, and sustainable agriculture legislation reform, and related legislation and policy and implementation (principal areas of interest include Northeast and Central Asia)
- Investigating various options for an international instrument for soil (with special reference to the concept of LDN and SDG 15) and discuss options with various international environmental law and soil science groups
- Communication and promotion of soil legislative reform (within IUCN and external environmental law and soil science groups) with special reference to LDN and SDG 15, including discussions about indicators to concretize the LDN Target
- Preparing indicative publications, including the "International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy"
- Monitoring and contributing to initiatives and negotiations under UNCCD, UNFCCC through the IUCN Drylands Initiative, and UN/FAO