Research project Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils

In progress EJP SOIL
Soil

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Isabel Roldán-Ruiz

Scientific director, ILVO Plant Sciences department

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Main research question

EJP SOIL (2020-2024) is an ‘European Joint Programme’. A total of 26 partners from 24 countries join forces to enhance the contribution of agricultural soils to key societal challenges. First and foremost, combating and adapting to climate change, and further, sustainable agricultural production, the provision of ecosystem services, the prevention and restoration of land and soil degradation and the preservation of biodiversity. For Flanders, ILVO is a partner and the Department of Environment and INBO are linked third parties. The Flemish Department of Agriculture & Fisheries chairs the Flemish hub.

Research approach

EJP SOIL aims to achieve measurable progress in these areas: 1. promoting soil carbon sequestration, 2. understanding and promoting the adoption of agricultural practices that contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation, 3. promoting sustainable production and a healthy environment, 4. strengthening research capacity and cooperation across Europe, and 5. supporting harmonized European soil information. To achieve these impacts, several outputs and activities were defined at the outset including the development and implementation of a roadmap for climate-smart sustainable agricultural soil management. This roadmap defines, among others, research topics for the internal and external project calls within EJP SOIL.

Relevance/Valorization

In EJP SOIL ILVO provides input for various stock take activities and stakeholder consultations for the development of the roadmap. ILVO leads three tasks: the identification of regional, national and European ambitions for the different soil ecosystem services, the development of an on-line database of long-term field experiments in Europe and the organization of the annual EJP SOIL science days. ILVO also participates in several EJP SOIL internal research projects such as Climasoma, CarboSeq, Sommit and STEROPES.