Working Group

The JRC has created in middle 2008 a Biodiversity expert group to provide it with advice and assistance regarding its scientific and technical activities in support to EU soil policy making and research.

Main terms of reference

1. Objectives

  • To fill the gaps in the knowledge of Soil Biodiversity Taxonomy, completing the inventory/ies of the existing soil organism.
  • To realize a soil biodiversity database, hosting the information provided by the member states.
  • To promote and participate in international initiatives and research projects regarding soil biodiversity investigation (inventories, monitoring, ecosystem functions).
  • To evaluate the ongoing monitoring activities in the EU member states and in others countries, and to propose possible harmonization.
  • To produce or contribute to the Commission, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the FAO and other international bodies, soil biodiversity reference reports, joint articles in scientific journals and conference papers, and possibly organizing specific sessions in major conferences.
  • To establish initiatives for raising the awareness on soil biodiversity.

2. Membership and operation

  • Membership will combine expertise and different views on soil biodiversity issues.
  • Membership open to soil biodiversity experts.
  • Initial membership will include a relatively small number of experts who participated to foundation of the group, but will be extensible to additional members.
  • Membership will be compatible with that of other working groups.

JRC support to the group operation

In order to enables the working group to meet its objectives, the JRC will provide the following support:

  • Financial support for travelling and lodging to group members participating in group meetings. These will be held at JRC's Ispra site or, alternatively, at a member's organization site or at an international conference venue.
  • Develop and maintain a dedicated section on the group activities and reporting within the JRC European Soil Data Centre (, with links to members organization websites and/or personal pages.
  • Produce and distribute limited paper editions of the group reports.
  • Create a mailing list for communication between group members.
  • Search for possible additional financial support to the group operation from JRC and other Commission services.

Working group members


Working group meeting

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission organised an experts meeting (Ispra, 19-20 June 2008) in support of its contribution to the Soil Biodiversity component of the EU’s Soil Thematic Strategy[1, 2] and the Proposal for a Soil Framework Directive[3]. Find attached the Agenda 

Presentation Title Speaker
European Soil Database: Interest for Biodiversity Panos Panagos (European Commission, JRC Directorate General)
Soil Biodiversity and theEU Soil Thematic Strategy Luca Marmo (European Commission, Environment Directorate General)
International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity Jo Mulongoy (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity)
Arriving to the Biodiversity in soils C.Gardi and R.Cenci (European Commission, JRC Directorate General)
Ecosystem approach in Agriculture and Soil Biodiversity Clemencia Licona Manzur , Sally Bunning (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO)
Soil Biodiversity – Kick-off Meeting Possible contributions of EFSA Karin Nienstedt (EFSA)
Soil Biological Diversity, Indicators, and Monitoring: the Italian Approach Carlo Jacomini, Italian Agency for Environment Protection and for Technical Services
Activities linked with soil and soil biodiversity Antonio BISPO (French Environment and Energy Management Agency , ADEME)
Microbial Biogeography at the scale of France by the use of molecular tools applied to the French soil quality monitoring network (RMQS) Lionel Ranjard , Philippe Lemanceau (INRA, Dijon - France)

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