A key objective of the Soil Thematic Strategy was to intensify targetted research in order to close the knowledge gap that was required to support soil protection and the sustainable use of soils. The outcomes of research and innovation programmes are needed to ensure optimal policy development, or eventually adaption, on the basis of robust evidence.
Over the past 5-10 years, the European Union and its Member States have invested significantly in developing integrated knowledge about the relationships between soil functions and ecosystem services and how human-induced pressures affect soil health. The need for continued investment in research is also highlighted by the recent proposal for a Mission on Soil Health and Food, in which traditional research streams are supplemented by practical demonstrations of best practices.
Through Horizon Europe, an increasingly integrated research community is further developing a knowledge base and tools that can be used by land managers to ensure that healthy soils allow for sustainable food production, sustain soil biodiversity, and support functions that preserve ecosystem services.
The EU Soil Observatory will integrate research outcomes of H2020 and Horizon Europe projects and initiatives.
Key partners include:
- European Joint Programme Cofund on Agricultural Soil Management (EJP SOIL)
- Soil Mission Support: Towards a European research and innovation roadmap on soils and land management (H2020 coordination and support action, coordinated by the German Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung)
- Soil elements of Horizon Europe Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment
- Mission on Soil Health and Food
- Soil related projects under LIFE
- European Soil Partnership (Pillar 3 - Research)
- Inspiration H2020 - Towards a strategic research agenda on soil, land-use and land management in Europe
- European Innovation Partnership 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability - EIP-AGRI
The European Soil Data Centre also contains a repository of soil projects from EU Framework Programmes.