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Eurosoil 2020
Eurosoil 2020
Sunday August 23, 2020 Image: Eurosoil
All day event


August 23, 2020
August 27, 2020


Centre International de Conférences
Rue de Varembé 17
Genève, 1211 Switzerland
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Eurosoil 2020 takes place on August 23-27 in Geneva, Switzerland with the objective to bring together leading research scientists working on soil related topics and stakeholders dealing with issues of public concern, such as soil degradation and consequences of climatic changes. The important bridging role of soil practitioners to translate scientific knowledge into practice will be emphasised during Eurosoil 2020.

As the conference of the European Confederation of Soil Science Societies (ECSSS), Eurosoil is the soil voice of Europe. Eurosoil 2020 aims to tackle e.g. the environmental, social, economical, and public policy goals related to / impacting soil use and services.

In line with the theme “Connecting People and Soil”, the Eurosoil 2020 Programme will be structured around, but not limited to, selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Therefore, apart from soil scientists, contributions are welcomed from stakeholders as well as related scientific fields (medicine, economy, social sciences, and others).

Sessions and workshops reporting transdisciplinary research, enhancing scientific relevance by integrating across disciplines or engaging diverse stakeholders in research, education, restoration, policy, management, and protection of soil are encouraged. Special sessions or workshops could address if and how research meets or responds to public interests or needs, actions taken to increase research “impact” or relevance, and how actions affect research.

COVID-19 Statement

The Eurosoil 2020 organisers are closely monitoring the evolving situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the worldwide impact of this pandemic.  At this time, the Eurosoil 2020 Congress is moving forward for 23-27 August 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland, and full implementation plans continue to proceed as planned.

However, the health and safety of our attendees and partners is our most important priority. As such, the Eurosoil 2020 organisers and the 2020 Local Organising Committee will continue to closely monitor the developing situation and commits to providing regular updates to our community.  For questions or concerns in regard to the congress, please contact the Eurosoil 2020 Organising Secretariat at .

Conference themes are defined by selected SDGs as follows:

NO POVERTY – End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Even though extreme poverty has significantly decreased within the last decades and enabled people across the world to improve their lives, poverty remains a key challenge of mankind. To overcome this situation, ownership and equitable access to land and natural resources paired with the know-how to sustainably and efficiently manage soils is crucial.

The overarching goal of the sessions in this theme is to raise the awareness for the importance of the soil resource as a key factor to reduce poverty in every-day life. Scientists, practitioners, and stakeholders will be invited to document this topic and to present solutions for pro-poor and gender sensitive development strategies with the objective to improve human and environmental well-being at the same time.

ZERO HUNGER – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

The SDG 2 aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round. Extreme hunger and malnutrition remain a huge barrier to development in many countries. 821 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished as of 2017, often as a direct consequence of environmental degradation, drought and loss of biodiversity. Over 150 million children under the age of five are stunted, which is unacceptably high. The aim “zero hunger” involves promoting sustainable agricultural practices, supporting small-scale farmers and allowing equal access to land, technology, and markets (UNDP). Soil is the most basic resource in nourishing a globally growing population and must be in the focus of SDG 2.

The soil science community can contribute significantly to different targets formulated within the SDG 2 which include increasing agricultural production, securing access to production resources, ensuring sustainable food production systems, implementing resilient agricultural practices, strengthening capacity for adaptation to climate change, improving land and soil quality, maintaining the genetic diversity, and supporting agricultural research and technology developments.

GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Soil is a key factor for human health and well-being, as it is an essential basis for primary pro­­duction, biodiversity, decomposition of organic matter, recycling of nutrients, regeneration of water resources, and other ecological and biogeochemical functions crucial for sustaining life on our planet. Unfortunately, pollution and other forms of soil degradation continue to be major impacts adversely affecting these functions and thus, directly as well as indirect­ly, also human health and well-being. Theme 3 of Eurosoil 2020 is focusing on pro­blems and potential solutions associated with soil pollution. Issues of health and well-being related to other impacts on soils are covered by the other themes of the congress. Soil pollution origi­nates from many kinds of human activities, including mining, industrial production, traffic, product use and consumption, waste disposal, or the application of agro­chemicals.

As new materials, products, and applications continue to be developed at an in­creasing rate, also new environmental and human health risks continue to arise from them, calling not only for the adjustment of currently adopted approaches to deal with these risks, but also for entirely new monitoring, risk assessment, remediation, and management schemes and a far-sighted comprehen­sive European soil protection policy.

CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

LIFE ON LAND – Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss

Land degradation results in impaired soil functions and endangers important ecosystem services, such as maintaining biodiversity, providing food, fibre, timber and fuel, regulating water flow, and purifying water. In order to help to reverse this trend, we want to answer the questions of how soil functions can be improved and maintained sustainably, how they are affected by and can be made resilient against disturbances, and how they can be restored if impaired. To this end, we want to bring together scientists, stakeholders, and practitioners to present and discuss (i) the latest scientific insights into the biological, chemical, and physical processes and their interactions that are the basis of soil functions, (ii) natural and technical options to sustainably manage and restore soil functions, and (iii) approaches how to deal with related economic, political and social implications. A particular question to answer will be whether the related targets of the Agenda 2030 are realistic.

SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable

SDG 11 focuses on urban environment. More than half of the world’s population live in urban areas; in developed countries, urban dwellers represent between 75% and 80% of the population. Urbanization is exerting pressure on peri-urban and rural areas (national and regional spatial planning), on regional climate (UHI), on biodiversity, and on human physical (contamination), and mental (green public spaces) health. Even if there is no specific target focussing on soils in the SDG 11, a sustainable management of urban soils can contribute to achieving sustainable cities and enhancing well-being of urban population.

Moreover, as the major part of the population resides in cities and has lost the concrete and emotional link to the “dirt”, there is a vast development potential for awareness raising about the multiple soil functions and the provided services to urban dwellers. Therefore, a healthy and functional soil as basis for sustainable cities and communities is a major challenge for the future.

CLIMATE ACTION – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Planetary warming has continued in recent years, setting a new record of about 1.1 degrees Centigrade above the preindustrial period, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Drought conditions predominated across much of the globe. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reached a record high of 400 parts per million in 2016. Mitigation and adaptation to climate change and its impacts will require building on the momentum achieved by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Stronger efforts are needed to build resilience and limit climate-related hazards and natural disasters. What is the role of soils for this goal?

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