Annual Science Days 2021

EJP SOIL connects, collaborates & builds cross-disciplinary communities  

The Annual EJP Soil Science Days facilitated exchange of scientific knowledge within the EJP SOIL consortium and strengthened scientific networks with peers in soil research. The Annual Science Days focused on presenting results and research from EJP SOIL projects and discussing scientific topics relevant to the consortium. 

Takeaways from Day 1: Europe’s soils, the road to go.

  • EJP SOIL has a crucial role in EU Partnerships. EJP SOIL connects, collaborates & builds cross-disciplinary communities for a better future for agricultural soils in and beyond Europe.
  • Progress depends on human activity and people as ‘Soil health drivers’. Connecting to all stakeholders is key in transferring research results to adoption by farmers and civil society. EJP-soil work with these stakeholders and with other networks in order to make research adoption possible.
  • Changing soil will not happen on its own. People need to change behavior. There is a call for enlisting scientific disciplines from sociology, behavior and economy to contribute with knowledge on how we can change human behavior.
  • Currently, 60-70% of European soils are unhealthy. Working across sectors, e.g. integrating agricultural science with soil science, is a necessity to achieve the EU goal of 75% of healthy soils by 2030.
  • EJP SOIL contributes by being the capacity to define and harmonize soil health and sustainable soil management, supporting research and rising awareness emphasizing soils as a crosscutting matter. The road map produced by EJP SOIL is needed by multiple stakeholders.  


Opening of the Annual Science days Welcoming by EJP SOIL coordinator Claire Chenu; INRAE
Keynote lecture by Luca Montanarella, Senior Expert, European Commission, JRC Land Resources Unit "The relevance of sustainable soil management within the European Green Deal"
How do EC ambitions echo in the member states? Why do member states need EJP SOIL to shape and accelerate customized soil policy and knowledge building? - Programme Owners on stage: Diego Intrioglio and colleagues
Advices and feedback from expert-outsiders: Looking at EJP SOIL’s strategic goals What challenges need to be tackled most urgently, what can be expected from EJP soil by the enterprises, by society, by academia …?” - Advisory board duo presentation by the chair (Katharina Helming) and vice chair (Bram Moeskops)
Debate on policy - Moderated by Saskia Visser Conclusion from first presentations: a debate with a focus on policy Debaters: Luca Montanarella, Programme Owners, Advisory Board

Takeaways from Day 2:

Knowledge sharing on the EJP SOIL project topics of year 1 within the EJP SOIL consortium. Dedicated day for the members of the EJP SOIL consortium.

Interesting day with knowledge sharing on project topics of Year 1. Projects in progress on topics such as:

  • Detailed carbon sequestration modelling approaches, assessing current soil carbon stocks, estimating potential sequestration and executing scenario-analyses.
  • Peat protection depends on High groundwater table in water management and agricultural land use for peat protection.
  • Others working on how to combine LUCAS and remote sensing to improve accuracy of satellite-based SOC monitoring systems. While another group focused on the tools and methods for high spatial resolution soil mapping, like drone based multi- and hyperspectral sensors or electromagnetic induction instruments.
  • Creating a roadmap of stocktaking to set a baseline of available knowledge, aiming at discovering knowledge gaps within the member states. Another developing an approach to make agricultural reviews/meta-analyses less biased.  


Takeaways from Day 3: 

Exchanging current knowledge existing within the EJP SOIL consortium on the EJP SOIL 2nd internal call topics of year 2. Presenting earlier work related to the topics. Dedicated day for the members of the EJP SOIL consortium.

‘If EJP SOIL fulfils 1/3 of what we have set sails to achieve, we will change European agricultural soil management.’

Words from the closing session of three successful Annual Science Days 2021. The EJP SOIL consortium’s challenge is to keep from dissipating from the direction fixed on the link between SOIL & CLIMATE.

  • We are ready to build partnerships. We are part of a large picture. We strive to remain realistic and modest in our continuous efforts of:
    • Building & strengthening a community of science
    • Excellent target oriented research.
    • Integrating research in education, training, harmonizing soil information, building a coherent system.
  • EJP SOIL builds on solid grounds and have proven to be much more than the sum of its parts.
  • We work locally, collaborate internationally and put all parts together, keeping in mind that People are the real drivers for Soil Health.  


Louise Pauwels (ILVO).

Click here for programme in pdf.