European Mission Soil Week: leading the transition towards healthy soils

HoliSoils project joined hundreds of soil-focussed stakeholders at the hugely successful European Mission Soil Week (EMSW).

The inaugural edition of what will become an annual event took place this year at the central facilities of the Spanish National Research Council (INIA-CSIC) in Madrid on 21 – 23 November. The event was held under the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council, as soil health is an important issue for the Presidency.

EMSW 2023 offered a key meeting and networking place for an ever-growing soil health community, fostering awareness, exchange, discussion, co-creation and action. Participants included scientists, researchers, policymakers, farmers, foresters, national, regional and municipal authorities, technology specialists, entrepreneurs, and citizens passionate about soil health.

With a blend of inspiring keynote speakers, parallel sessions, panels, debates and space for working groups, EMSW 2023 enabled stakeholders to discuss the challenges and co-create solutions for restoring and preserving healthy soils, taking inspiration from good practices from Europe and beyond.

EMSW will become the annual gathering of the EU Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ (Mission Soil) which aims to raise awareness about the importance of preserving and restoring soil health and to encourage action to improve soil health. This year’s event was organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) together with the Joint Research Centre – EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) and the EU-funded project PREPSOIL which facilitates the deployment of the EU Soil Mission across European regions.

HoliSoils is collaborating with various soil-related projects funded by the EU, both through the Mission Soil initiative and other preceding mechanisms, to identify complementary activities, share results and pool stakeholder interactions for increased impact and maximum efficiency for project outputs, towards better outcomes for sustainable soil health.