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Environmental Assessment of Soil for Monitoring


This high impact ENVASSO project addresses the needs of Task 6 (Characterisation of soils) by setting a series of interlinked objectives that will lead to the harmonisation of the soil datasets that currently exist in EU member states. Eight threats to soil (erosion, declining organic matter, contamination, compaction, salinization, loss in biodiversity, soil sealing, landslides) are identified in the Commissions official Soil Communication (CEC 2002) and the forthcoming -Soil Thematic Strategy for the Protection of Soil in Europe-. By bringing together the key practitioners and academic experts from across the EU, the aim is to develop a system to harmonise existing, mostly national data sets, to form a central reference point to assess current soil status and to ensure sustainable management in future.

The project call is for a holistic approach to soil protection through the robust and defendable selection of criteria, thresholds and indicators based on harmonised approaches to soil information collection, analysis and management. This approach is encompassed within ENVASSO through the consideration of real, existing data, interpretation, and approaches to soil inventory / monitoring. ENVASSO will distil this knowledge and expertise leading-edge methodologies to create a working prototype database structure, and Procedures and Protocols for harmonised soil assessment throughout Europe.

The objectives will be achieved by 5 core partners supported by 32 additional partners drawn from all 25 EU member states ensuring maximum impact to enhance soil protection at European level. All the partners are members, or have close links with the European Soil Bureau Network and include EU and Associated States. Account will be taken of the Catchment Information System constructed by the JRC and of the Pilot River Basins of the WFD. Criteria and indicators for the characterisation of soil and procedures / protocols for inventory and monitoring will be major deliverables.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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United Kingdom

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Total cost
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Participants (36)