The Protocol for the assessment of Sustainable Soil Management
Introduced by FAO
The objective of this protocol is to provide a framework, based on a set of indicators, for government officials, NGOs, and other stakeholders involved in development projects, to determine if implemented soil management practices are sustainable and in line with the definition of Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) included in the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) (FAO, 2017).
This protocol and its indicators, parameters, and methods should be regularly revised and updated according to the evolution of soil sciences and the results obtained during its use in the field, reflecting local, national and regional realities.
The measurement of recommended indicators provides an evaluation of a soil’s ability to maintain prioritized ecosystem services, and therefore improve farmers’ productivity and income in a sustainable manner.
This document is built on existing work of the FAO’s Global Soil Partnership (GSP): the revised World Soil Charter (WSC) (FAO, 2015), The Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR) report (FAO and ITPS, 2015), and the previously mentioned Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management.