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Sino-EU Soil Observatory for intelligent Land Use Management

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SIEUSOIL (Sino-EU Soil Observatory for intelligent Land Use Management)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2019-06-01 do 2020-11-30

Land degradation in Europe and China has been increasingly recognised as a serious environmental problem. Various studies commissioned by the European Commission have assessed the extent and degree of soil degradation across Europe and concluded that six major threats place soil quality at risk. Namely, soil erosion, loss of SOM, soil biodiversity, soil compaction, soil salinity, soil sealing and soil pollution. These threats have adverse effects on soil functions and ecosystem services, which may lead to desertification and overall soil degradation, and an assessment framework for understanding the pressures on soils and taking steps to safeguard them is required.
SIEUSOIL main objective is to design, implement and test a shared China-EU Web Observatory platform that will provide Linked (Open) Data to monitor status and threats of soil and land resources, thereby supporting decision making for sustainable and climate-resilient agro-ecosystems and sustainable land management. The Observatory platform will support effective management of soil at field level through customizable modules and will highlight good practices of soil management across EU and China. The final target will be to support sustainable soil management, increase land and water productivity sustainably, reduce crop yield variability across time and space, and support the policy formulation process. Innovative practices and tools will be tested in SIEUSOIL and their impact will be assessed for improved carbon sequestration, soil fertility and land productivity.
During the 1st reporting period the work carried out and results achieved include:
1) The establishment of a harmonised Eurasian soil and land geo-database highlighting soil and land quality indicators in a common China-EU Web Observatory platform, with the developed data model to be going to become the basis of the GloSIS, the Global Soil Information System (see http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/pillars-action/4-information-data/glosis/en/ for details). SIEUSOIL pilot data will be used for further evaluations of the data model.
2) A set of biophysical quality indicators for soils and crops have been defined and their methodology established, while a common definition of soil quality has been elaborated for use in pilots. Also, an assessment of socioeconomic and management factors and soil properties in the dynamics of Phosphorus in agricultural soils of Hungary were performed and a scientific paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
3) MZ maps and variable rate fertilization maps were implemented in the 4 fields in Belgium and Spain successfully. Soil physical property management: Maps for Bulk density, packing density moisture content and subsoiler draft were developed showing within-field variability, as well as yield productivity zones in Czech pilot farm, have been delineated.
4) A land suitability methodology has been developed to evaluate factors describing the weight of each soil quality indicator for effective land management (i.e. crop growth, meteorology, landscape, soil, water), now and for future climate change scenarios.
5) During this period, the connections among the different SIEUSOIL components were identified as well as the dependencies on the external sources of data. In addition, it was essential to define the methods that these data will be fed into the DSS, especially with regards to the precision farming services and the land suitability tool. Lastly, the development of the Prototype DSS test version has been initiated in order to be delivered on due time for testing and validation by the respective partners.
6) The framework for multi-actor process and validation has been established and a detailed baseline description of all pilots has been compiled, including a simplified stakeholder analysis. All pilots have started the co-creation process.
7) Impact analysis has been performed of the proposed scenarios for managing soils towards sustainable intensification in terms of agro-ecosystem services delivery, socio-economic benefits and adoption by policymakers. Land-use change aspects will be an integrated part of the environmental assessment by life cycle analysis (LCA). Most promising results: The framework for Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and its first tests with pilot data, including a mock-up display of results. The integrated framework for socio-economic analysis has been developed.
8) Emphasis was given to the roll-out of the strategy and tactics elaborated in the communication plan and the preparation of multiple communication tools. A robust and results-oriented repetitive communication was considered a prerequisite to achieve visibility, awareness and stakeholders’ engagement as early as possible, as well as to satisfy all KPIs and establish a “footprint” of SIEUSOIL as a lively Horizon 2020 project.
Finally, effort has been put into developing, performing and deploying a management and coordination framework that will optimize and focus the effort and synergy of all resources of SIEUSOIL towards achieving its goals and maximizing impact in EU and China.
The main achievements of the SIEUSOIL project during the 1st reporting period were the establishment of a harmonized Eurasian soil and land geo-database highlighting soil and land quality indicators in a common China-EU Web Observatory platform, with the developed data model to be going to become the basis of the GloSIS, the Global Soil Information System. While the developed DSS tools enabled users in the 11 pilots to apply precision farming practices and crop suitability methodologies, helping and supporting them to design better soil management/climate adaptation strategies and policies.