ISRIC - World Soil Information is an independent, science-based foundation. The institute was founded in 1966 following a recommendation of the International Soil Science Society (ISSS) and a resolution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). ISRIC has a mission to serve the international community with information about the world’s soil resources to help addressing major global issues. ISRIC is the International Council for Science (ICSU) accredited World Data Centre for Soils (WDC-Soils) since 1989 and it maintains the World Soil Museum.
In partnership, ISRIC operates in three priority areas:
- soil data and soil mapping
- application of soil data in global development issues
- training and education
We provide the following services:
- Data supply and co-developing uniform tools for collecting and analysing soil related data. From the start ISRIC has collected, interpreted, collated and up-scaled soil data from different countries to a regional or global scale, and developed standardized tools to do so. Our data policy is built around the concepts of full and open access, and of data sharing being provided at no cost or for no more than the cost of reproduction.
- Applied research. ISRIC supports interdisciplinary and participatory projects that address global issues including combatting land degradation, mitigating climate, improving food security and using water more efficiently.
- Training. ISRIC researchers support people doing research on land and water resources with training and practical field work. We provide training for different users of soil data including students in soil science, agronomists, land planners and agricultural extension workers.
- Education about soils through our World Soil Museum. ISRIC has the most extensive collections of soil samples from around the world. We can tell many stories about soils and their role in food security, climate change, water shortage and biodiversity. All stories can be illustrated by profiles, maps, pictures, micro slides, digital means or other attributes.
- Access to a library and map collection. At ISRIC soil maps and articles from around the world can be stored, scanned and made accessible. We have already built up a collection of more than 30,000 articles, country reports, books and soil maps, with emphasis on the developing countries. These materials are being used to generate a range of databases and derived interpretations.