Skip to main content

Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EJP SOIL (Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils)

Período documentado: 2020-02-01 hasta 2021-03-31

The overall goal of the EJP SOIL is to build a sustainable European integrated research system on agricultural soils and to develop and deploy a reference framework on climate-smart sustainable agricultural soil management. This will create the enabling environment maximising the contribution of agricultural soil to addressing key societal challenges such as food and water security, sustainable agricultural production, climate change adaptation and mitigation, ecosystem services delivery and biodiversity preservation. On the operational level this will be achieved by strengthening the European research community on agricultural soil management through an alignment and implementation of research, training and capacity building, and promotion of the harmonized agricultural soil information systems to achieve global consistency and applicability of agricultural soil information. On the policy level, the programme will support the adoption of evidence-based recommendations for policy makers on agricultural soil health and adequate agricultural practices through a multi-actor approach and intersociety dialogue, as well as uptake of climate-smart sustainable agricultural soil management practices by practitioners. While on the scientific level, the programme will co-design and implement a 5-year roadmap for agricultural soil research by developing new insights on climate-smart agricultural soil management and carbon sequestration in agricultural soils under different conditions across Europe.
The work performed so far includes the start of the EJP SOIL programme, instalment of the programme governance, advisory bodies and management structures, the launch of the first internal call for research projects and the development of a communication and dissemination strategy to ensure internal and external communication. A Europe wide stocktake was accomplished on a wide range of topics to create a base line for the work to be carried in research on agricultural soil management. A roadmap of activities was developed together with national stakeholders based on synthesis of existing research, research needs and gaps to serve as an agenda and implementation plan for the next 4 years of the programme. To facilitate knowledge harmonization, organization and storage, an analysis of national soil data ownership regulations in all partner countries was undertaken, in order to develop a policy that both respects the legal rights of national data holders and, at the same time, supports data sharing in Europe. The project has launched the synthesis of current state of European soil science in higher education and foresight study for soil science professional needs and initiated the development of a joint curriculum for PhD training. The key policy stakeholders were identified at national and EU levels in the mapping exercises across participating partner EJP SOIL countries and were further engaged to express the key issues and needs related to climate smart and sustainable soils management through a number of policy forums.
At the societal level, the EJP SOIL is striving to rise general public awareness and foster improved societal understanding of agricultural soil management and its contribution to sustainable agricultural production, climate change adaptation, mitigation, and all other ecosystem services delivery by soils and environment protection.

It is expected that the EJP SOIL activities would allow reaching the following impacts:

• Fostering understanding of soil management and its influence on climate mitigation and adaptation, sustainable agricultural production and environment.
• Understanding how soil carbon sequestration can contribute to climate change mitigation (i.e. without being associated with additional N2O emissions) at regional level including accounting for carbon.
• Strengthening scientific cooperation at European level including training of young scientists.
• Supporting harmonised European soil information, including for international reporting.
• Fostering the uptake of soil management practices conductive to climate change adaptation and mitigation, by farmers, i.e. identifying, understanding and possibly developing the enabling conditions for farmers to adopt climate-smart sustainable soil management options.
• Developing region-specific fertilization practices considering the local soil, water and pedo-climatic conditions.
EJP SOIL project kick off meeting group photo