Will you tell me what "on the ground" means in the sentences below?

Sentence: The only answer is to take immediate action -- quite ambitious action on the ground - and for that we need cooperation among Governments, civil society, and business communities and all partners.

  • 3
    It would have been handy to mention context (the source of your sentence). After googling, it seems that MaulikV's answer is correct, but the sentence in itself might refer to military action on the ground as opposed to air strikes or naval blockades. – oerkelens Aug 1 '14 at 9:12
  • Please edit your answer to include a link to the source of your sentence(s). – user6951 Jan 28 '15 at 23:02

on the ground here means the place/thing in concern. It could be anything, the company, the business or things the like.

OALD describes it:

on the ground - in the place where something is happening and among the people who are in the situation

Relevant example given is...

There's a lot of support for the policy on the ground.

  • 1
    Or it could simply mean in reality, as opposed to in politicians' words. – CowperKettle Aug 1 '14 at 6:44
  • @CopperKettle I leant toward it but then could not find an authentic source to describe. Then, OALD example confirmed the phrase in concern. :) – Maulik V Aug 1 '14 at 6:48
  • 1
    You googled the sentence and found the UN-reference, I guess? As such, without context, it could mean military action on the ground as well. As opposed to air strikes, naval blockades, etc. – oerkelens Aug 1 '14 at 9:14
  • @oerkelens of course yes, for military it does mean that. However, here it's about the organization's decision what OP seems to be concerned about as it says business community, govt etc. – Maulik V Aug 1 '14 at 9:42
  • 1
    Governments have usually a big say in military ground operations. Especially since they are basically the equivalent of "all out war" - so the mention of need of support from all parties involved is not that strange. I agree that the business community was what made me wonder. But it would have been easier if the OP has simply said where the sentence was coming from :) – oerkelens Aug 1 '14 at 9:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.