International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS)

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) was founded as the International Society of Soil Science (ISSS) on 19th May 1924. The IUSS has been a scientific union member of ICSU (International Council for Science) since 1993.The scientific activities of IUSS are undertaken through 4 Divisions and each Division has 4 to 6 Commissions.The Divisions and Commissions are headed by a chairperson and two vice chairs.

Joint Research Centre soil team collaborates with IUSS in exchanging information and data.

The IUSS proclaimed at the Celebration of the International Year of Soils 2015 the Vienna Soil Declaration at December 7, 2015. 

Speakers from regional soil science societies (Africa, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America), the IUSS Council, the chairs and vice-chairs of the IUSS Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups as well as several high level representatives from FAO, IAEA and partners were invited to discuss the achievements of the IYS and the future challenges in soil science as well as opportunities for international cooperation. In the course of this highly successful event, which attracted more than 120 participants from all over the world, a draft version of the Vienna Soil Declaration “Soil matters for humans and ecosystems” was adopted and the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024) proclaimed by Rainer Horn, IUSS President. The end of the International Decade of Soils coincides with the centennial anniversary of the International Union of Soil Sciences.

Find also the presentations of this event.

The IUSS has published the IUSS Bulletin 127 (December 2015).


The International Decade of Soils (2015-2024)

In the Vienna Soil Declaration of Dec. 7, 2015, the IUSS has identified the key roles played by soils in addressing the major resource, environmental, health and social problems which humanity is currently facing. Given this situation, the IUSS believes that it is incumbent on IUSS members to not only maintain the level of activity generated in IYS 2015 but to increase the momentum and the extent of our contributions on these issues as we move towards the Centenary of the IUSS formation in 2024. In the course of the highly successful conference ‘Celebration of International Year of Soils 2015 – Achievements and Future Challenges’ the International Decade of Soils 2015-2024 was proclaimed by Rainer Horn, IUSS President.

The Executive Committee and the Council of the IUSS will play a pivotal role in setting overall objectives and directions during this period. However, it is essential that all Divisions, Commissions, Working Groups, National, Regional and individual Members but also experts of related fields of expertise accept the challenge to undertake activities to ensure that the significance of soils in maintaining healthy life and environment remain continually at the forefront of political and scientific planning and decision making.The International Decade of Soils shall thus be a continuation of the efforts made during the International Year of the Soils 2015. It will be marked by a number of activities on the national and international levels.

More information in the IUSS relevant page