In 1990, the UNEP-funded GLASOD project, which was coordinated by ISRIC, produced a first world map of human-induced soil degradation, using an expert-based approach. The map was intended to raise awareness on soil degradation problems on the occasion of the 1992 UNCED conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Data were compiled in cooperation with a large number of soil scientists throughout the world, using uniform guidelines and international correlation. The status of soil degradation was mapped within loosely defined physiographic units (polygons), based on expert judgement. The type, extent, degree, rate and main causes of degradation were displayed on a global map, at an average scale of 1:10 million (Mercator projection), and documented in a downloadable database.
Information about the areal extent of human-induced soil degradation can be found in an Explanatory Note.