Join the World Soil Museum to celebrate World Soil Day 2023 on December 5

World Soil Day promotional image

On 5 December, the ISRIC World Soil Museum is hosting a one-hour online interactive programme to celebrate World Soil Day 2023. The programme will focus on the the interconnection between soil and water and will include:

  • A brief World Soil Museum tour to see a diversity of soils and their management in relation to water.
  • A virtual excursion into Ethiopian fieldwork with Land Soil Crop Hubs researcher Musefa Redi to look at how and why he measures the soil’s water retention.
  • An introduction to patterns of soil water retention seen on SoilGrids global soil maps  from soil data experts.

Register now to join this free event held on Zoom on 5 December at 11:00 CET!

Find out more about this event!

European Mission Soil Week: leading the transition towards healthy soils

European Mission Soil Week participants

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.

ESA Symposium on Earth observation for soil protection and restoration

ESA Symposium on Earth observation for soil protection and restoration

In the context of the EU soil strategy for 2030, the European Space Agency (ESA) is committed to monitor and service the soil restauration requirements with the Earth observation means and technologies set in place, particularly through Copernicus.

Don’t miss this chance to participate in the ESA Symposium on Earth observation for soil protection and restoration that will take place in Frascati, near Rome (Italy), on 6 and 7 March 2024.

This will be the occasion to share your expertise and contributions to the many key topics at the center of the discussion:

  1. EU Soil policy and Earth Observation: institutional implementation, research, industry, and technology.
  2. Monitoring soil parameters: EO as a trustworthy technique.
  3. Soil Organic Carbon Monitoring: data sources, prediction algorithms, handling of uncertainties.
  4. Soil carbon certification to the light of edge technologies and soil business models.
  5. Advanced satellite instrumentation for soil health.
  6. Soil data and methodologies: AI, geo-statistics, spectroscopy, machine learning and other.
  7. Towards a Copernicus soil monitoring service portfolio.
  8. Remote Sensing of soils: validation methods for agro-policies.
  9. Show-casing potential soil carbon removals in various LULC types, in the short and long terms.

Read more information about the event and register your contribution by 3 December 2023!

EGU24: The role of forest management and soils in meeting climate change mitigation goals

EGU flags

The General Assembly 2024 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU 2024) will bring together scientists and especially early career researchers from all over the world to discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience from 14-19 April (Vienna, Austria, and online). This event will include a session on forest management and soils for climate change mitigation organised by members of the HoliSoils consortium.

Apply now to join HoliSoils’ session on the effects of forest management on soil carbon sequestration!

Submit your abstracts to the session ‘The role of forest management and soils in meeting climate change mitigation goals’ organised by researchers from HoliSoils’ project coordinator Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

This session will explore the current understanding of the effects of forest management on soil carbon sequestration and other processes to develop effective forest-based climate change mitigation strategies.

The session invites experimental and modelling contributions to address the knowledge gaps still remaining and will focus on:

  1. Advancing knowledge concerning the effects of forest management on soil carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas balances, biodiversity, nutrient stocks, organic matter quality, water resources, and stabilisation processes.
  2. Enhancing comprehension of the impacts of natural disturbances and preventing forest management on soil functioning and resilience.
  3. Improving understanding of modelling on the potential of forest management to mitigate climate change.

The Call for Abstracts for EGU24 is open until 10 January 2024 (13:00 CET)!

Read more and learn how you can contribute!

EGU24: HoliSoils invites you to discover the role of soil fauna in terrestrial ecosystems

Members of the HoliSoils consortium will organise a session at the General Assembly 2024 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU 2024) to discuss invertebrate biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and climate change. EGU’s primary goal is to provide a platform for scientists to showcase their work and engage in discussions with experts across various geoscience fields. The 2024 edition will take place in Vienna, Austria, from 14-19 April and can also be followed online.

Submit your abstract and participate in HoliSoils EGU’s 2024 session!

HoliSoils extends an invitation to submit your abstracts to session titled ‘The role of soil fauna in terrestrial Ecosystems on a changing world’, convened by WP5 leader Jorge Curiel Yuste (BC3 Basque Centre for Climate Change) and other HoliSoils project partners.

This session aims to improve our understanding of soils and how they harbour a large proportion of terrestrial invertebrate biodiversity (e.g. myriapods, insects, arachnids and oligochaetes), as well as to deepen their functional role in terrestrial ecosystems, systematically underestimated partly because the inventory of soil invertebrate biodiversity is methodologically difficult.

Therefore, the organising members of HoliSoils invite abstracts of studies (e.g. experimental, methodological, field monitoring or modelling) that attempt to fill this knowledge gap by focusing on improving our understanding of the role of soil fauna in the functioning of soils and terrestrial ecosystems.

The Call for Abstracts for EGU24 is now open and you can submit your abstract to the session of your choice by 13:00 CET, 10 January 2024!

More information

The connection between soil and water at the heart of World Soil Day 2023!

World Soil Day 2023

Soil and water are key resources that allow life on Earth, while their sustainable management and conservation foster climate change mitigation and adaptation. The 2023 edition of the World Soil Day on 5 December focuses on the theme “Soils and Water: a source of life”.

Since 2014, every 5 December FAO, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), organizes the World Soil Day to celebrate and highlight the importance of healthy soils and their sustainable management.

Explore the initiatives of the World Soil Day 2023! Follow @holisoils and #WorldSoilDay on X to keep up to date with the preparations for this event!

Learn more about HoliSoils in this MAIA’s webinar!

MAIA's second webinar on Climate Change and Agriculture

On 8 September, tune in to this webinar organised by the MAIA Project to learn more about some European projects working on agroforestry and climate change.

This is the second of a series of three webinars on the same topic, climate change and agriculture. This webinar will feature presentations from three speakers representing different European Union-funded projects focusing on agroforestry: Reforest, AGFORWARD, and HoliSoils.

Raisa Mäkipää, the coordinator of this latter project, will join the discussion to present HoliSoils and its work for forest soils.

Register now!

Webinar on incentives for carbon farming concludes the “Soil on 1” series

WUR webinar

The webinar series “Soil on 1” carried out by WUR, a HoliSoils partner organisation, has almost come to an end. This series of three online events aimed to explore the connection between SOC sequestration and climate, soil, and buyers/sellers of carbon credits.

In May and June, the first two webinar were organised to learn more about how SOC sequestration impacts climate mitigation and soil quality.

This last webinar will investigate the possible incentives for carbon farming including carbon credits. On 4 July, 9.00 – 10.00 CET, the discussion will focus on what SOC sequestration means for the seller (farmer) and buyer.

Click here to join the webinar!

New webinar on SOC sequestration and soil quality

WUR webinar

WUR, an organisation part of the HoliSoils Consortium, is hosting a series of webinars titled “Soil on 1” to discuss if SOC sequestration as a win-solution for the climate, soil, and buyers and sellers of carbon credits.

After a first successful webinar on SOC sequestration and climate mitigation, the second webinar will explore what SOC sequestration means for soil quality. The third and final webinar will then focus on carbon markets.

Don’t miss this chance to join the second webinar, titled “SOC sequestration & soil quality”, that will take place on Tuesday 20 June, 9.00 – 10.00 CET.

Click here to join the webinar!

HoliSoils supports key stakeholders with science and tools for GHG reporting

Amanita mushrooms growing on ground among green herb

Experts from the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector are one of HoliSoils’ main target stakeholders. The LULUCF group at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) Bioeconomy Unit provides science-based support to the European Commission’s services in understanding how forests mitigate and interact with climate change in the context of EU and international climate policies. Many of the results developed in HoliSoils are directly targeted to these experts and HoliSoils has established a good and regular dialogue with the group, not least through Anu Korosuo who represents JRC on the HoliSoils Stakeholder and End-User Advisory Board (SEAB).

Partners from the HoliSoils project were invited to present the project and its results so far at the 2023 JRC LULUCF workshop, held in May. The main purpose of these meetings is to provide understanding on how LULUCF regulation is interpreted and of the methods used by different member states for their GHG inventories. The May workshop focused on the needs and opportunities to enhance LULUCF reporting to support climate change mitigation targets for 2030 and beyond.

Aleksi Lehtonen (Luke) presented the HoliSoils project while Mart-Jan Schelhaas (WUR) presented on EFISCEN-Space, the high-resolution forest resource model being updated as part of the project. Hans Verkerk (EFI), also a partner in HoliSoils, presented the ForestPaths project, of which he is coordinator. HoliSoils is working with ForestPaths and other relevant EU-funded projects to ensure synergies between activities and avoid duplicating efforts.

The LULUCF workshop combined overview sessions on the state-of-art of the GHG inventories and the revised LULUCF regulation. Specific sessions focused on moving to higher Tiers in reporting, and on the use of geographically-explicit data and new advances in remote sensing in GHG inventories.

Interesting for HoliSoils is that countries will need to improve their GHG inventory methods in the near future. While many countries do well with forest biomass reporting, there is room for improvement: most countries use Tier 1 but will need to move to Tier 2 by 2028. HoliSoils is providing tools to support such a transition, with a model ensemble tool currently in a beta phase and soon to be launched. Also of interest is the HoliSoils peat map (and other maps) under development, which will support spatially explicit reporting and improve land-use change estimates by providing soil data, contributing to the reporting needed for biodiversity and emission hot-spots.

Presentations from the workshop are available from JRC’s LULUCF pages.