Second External Call - International Call

Managing and mapping agricultural soils for enhancing soil functions and services.

The European Joint Programme “EJP SOIL - Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils” comprise 24 countries committed to the overall goal of providing sustainable agricultural soil management solutions that contribute to key societal challenges including climate change and future food supply.

Call closing date for proposals on 14th of September 2022

Rationale & Aim of the call

The overall objective of this call is to foster farm management practices, which contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption. To achieve this aim, three main directions shall be taken into consideration and are subject to this call: A) Soil restoration practices and managment, B) Managing soils in the context of climate change and C) Research and development of innovative methods and sensing technologies to provide an integrated monitoring and mapping of farm management practices.

Most of the land surface has been dedicated to very few crops (cereals), which are a direct cause of the current loss of biodiversity land degradation and loss of inherent soil fertility and organic matter. The main goal for this call is search for solutions to harmonize conservation and restoration with production by assessing the synergistic and contrasted effects that restoration practices can have on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

This includes the appropriate monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) platforms for soil organic carbon (SOC) to enhance preparedness and commitment of farmers to take farm level actions on climate change mitigation. To be effective, such farm scale monitoring of carbon sequestration and SOC management should be linked to and based on decisions and tools that allow farmers to calculate and monitor impacts of farm management not only on C but also on N and P cycling.

Furthermore, reliable and integrated information on farm management practices, vegetation characteristics and soil physical attributes is critical for a range of uses, including compliance with public policy, environmental monitoring, providing input variables for greenhouse gas emissions reporting, soil carbon modelling, amongst others. 

At scale, however, high degrees of spatial and/or temporal variability implies that collecting this information through field monitoring and field measurements is often cost- and time-prohibitive. Because of these constraints on data availability and available data may not be truly representative.

Click to read more detailed information in the CALL ANNOUNCEMENT document and on the submission website: https://ejp-soil.ptj.de/call2


Call topics and its expected impacts

Researchers can apply for one of the three topics described here. All proposals shall address the topic specific impacts as well as at least one of the expected impacts of EJP SOIL as described in section 2.

Topic A:

Soil restoration practices and management for alleviating land degradation, supporting agro-ecosystem function and maintaining soil organic carbon stocks.

Expected impacts:

  • The promotion of proven and cost-effective solutions to land and agro-ecosystemdegradation scaling-out of sustainable management options supported by anappropriate enabling environment to combat land degradation, enhance productivityand livelihoods.
  • Collect and synthesize knowledge on the successful and unsuccessful use of noveladvanced technologies in relation to diversified cropping (e.g. strip cropping and pixelfarming) and site-specific soil management (tillage and traffic, fertilization, weed and pest control, irrigation).
  • Evaluate the potentials and limitations of using novel advanced technologies for sustainable soil management for different pedo-climatic zones and cropping systems.

In the long-term, the successful proposals should contribute to the restoration of degraded landscapes including improving the functionality of agro-ecosystems pastures, and natural agro-ecosystems landscapes as well as contributing to more carbon neutral farming activities.


Topic B:

Managing soils in the context of climate change: understanding impacts on C, N and P cycling and greenhouse gas emissions and removals, using data derived from LTEs and benchmark farms.

Expected Impact:

  • Parameterization and validation of models that form the core of farmer advisory systems, e.g., Cool Farm Tool, CAP2R and many more. This can help to demonstrate the effect and impact of (sequential or additive) management practices and measures in different farming systems across all relevant climate regions.
  • Development and of more accurate and reliable Tier 2 and Tier 3 methods for greenhouse gas emissions and removals reporting at different scales and assessing farm-level greenhouse gas balances to enhance implementation of climate action at the farm level and farmers’ commitment to climate mitigation targets across the world.
  • Informing and improving implementation and execution of specific on farm practices and measures and/or farm level strategies to simultaneously address climate change impacts and mitigate greenhouse gases.

 


Topic C:

Research and development of innovative methods and sensing technologies to provide an integrated monitoring and mapping of farm management practices taking also into account physical attributes and vegetation characteristics relevant to SOC sequestration, soil health and degradation.

Expected impact:

  • Publicly available, broadly applicable, low-cost and reliable approaches to map and monitor farm management, vegetation characteristics and soil physical attributes will facilitate improved public policy, improved measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems for agricultural greenhouse gases, removals and other ecosystem services, development and provision of tools to support decision making of land managers, farmers, and other actors of the food system (monitoring as a base for the development of the carbon markets) and assist with monitoring compliance with regulations.

Budget, funding modalities, eligibility criteria and project types

More than 16 funding organisations from 15 countries will contribute to the EJP SOIL International Call (see table). Researchers from participating countries can apply on the research topics outline above and described within the call announcement. In addition the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases will also participate in this call as funders and the following countries can apply to GRA funding: Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Research partners from not participating countries can be part of research consortia if they bring in their own funding.

The Call will be implemented using an online submission tool. It consists of a platform, where applicants can find all information necessary for the preparation and submission of proposals. The submission tool is available following this link: https://ejp-soil.ptj.de/call2

All proposals must fulfil the general criteria, as wells as the applicable eligibility criteria of the Funder partners of the consortia seeking funds from. General eligibility criteria are defined within the call announcement and Funder specific eligibility criteria can be found in the document Funder regulations. Both documents are available as download on our submission website (https://ejp-soil.ptj.de/call2).


A webinar and online Networking event will be organised on the 24th May at 10:00 CEST (Berlin, Germany) for all interested applicants.

Content of the webinar will be an overview about all relevant aspects for the Call and will give a short introduction for the submission tool. Following the Webinar the call office will provide a virtual networking space where interested applicants can get connected.


Click here to register


Furthermore a partnering tool is provided where project partnerships can be offered and searched for:  https://ejp-soil.ptj.de/index.php?index=65     


Participating Countries

List of participating countries and Funding Parties

*not formally confirmed yet


Indicative Timeline

The call will be conducted as one-step-procedures with a mandatory pre-registration of proposals:

Task

Schedule

Pre-announcement of the Call March 25th 2022
Launch of the Call April 28th 2022
Webinar for interested applicants May 24th 2022
Deadline Pre-Registration of proposal June 20th 2022
Deadline Proposal submission September 14th 2022
Proposal evaluation and selection September - November 2022
Aimed start of research projects January - May 2023

Call Office contacts

The call office will be operated by Project management Jülich (Germany):

Name: Ulrike Ziegler Christian Breuer
Phone:    +49 2461 61 55 66 +49 2461 61 96 92 9
E-mail:  u.ziegler@fz-juelich.de c.breuer@fz-juelich.de

                     

 The EJP SOIL programme has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 862695