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The Soil and Terrain Database (SOTER) was part of the Soil Degradation and Vulnerability Assessment for Central and Eastern Europe (SOVEUR project) and was implemented within the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Netherlands Government Cooperative Programme. The project was technically coordinated by ISRIC - World Soil Information and assisted by the Land and Water Development Division (AGL) of FAO. The SOVEUR project has been carried out in close collaboration with specialists from soil survey institutes in Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovak Republic and the Ukraine, who collated the various national soil data using uniform guidelines.
Following publication of the World Map of the Satus of Human-induced Land Degradation (GLASOD), at scale 1:10M, the need for more detailed and more country-specific degradation assessment became apparent. In 1993, the members of the Asian Network on Problem Soils recommended the preparation of a qualitative assessment for South and Southeast Asian at a scale of 1:5 million. The assessment was carried out using a physiographic base map, compiled according to the SOTER methodology, and a slightly modified GLASOD methodology. The information was stored in a digital database and linked to a GIS enabling preparation of thematic outputs in the form of maps, graphs and tables.