World Soil Day 2019, which coincides this year with the celebration in Madrid of the COP25 Climate Summit, and its campaign "Stop soil erosion, Save our future" envisages raising awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems for human well-being, addressing the growing challenges in soil management, as well as raising awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy soils, encouraging proactive involvement by governments, communities and individuals around the world in improving Soil health.

With this objective, and following the partial political agreement reached in April 2019 between the European Parliament and the Council on Horizon Europe, the EU Research and Innovation Framework Program 2021-2027, the European Commission is preparing for the implementation of this program.

One of the main innovations of Horizon Europe is the introduction of missions: ambitious and high-profile initiatives that will offer concrete solutions to the challenges facing citizens and European society. The first mission is to design a portfolio of actions, aimed at achieving a bold, inspiring and measurable objective within a defined period of time, with an impact on science and technology, society and citizens that goes beyond individual actions One of these missions concerns Soil Health and Food.

  • The mission of Soil Health and Food, has the following specific areas:
  • Soil management in agriculture and forestry for food and nutrition security, and the delivery of non-food products and public goods.
  • Soil management beyond agriculture and forestry, peat bogs, wetlands.
  • Restoration and remediation of soils, contaminated industrial land, soil sealing
  • Potential of soils and soil management practices for climate mitigation and adaptation
  • Soil functions and ecosystem services, and the role of different practices to improve soil health.
  • Sustainable management of spaces (and landscapes), land use and land use change, spatial planning.
  • Ecology, agroecology, soil microbiology.
  • Systems science / systems approach, considering the economic impacts of land and land degradation.

The mission will be co-designed by a group of 15 experts, the Mission Board – which will be supported by 22 additional experts – who form the Mission Assembly, whose function will be to advise the European Commission on the identification and design of a or more specific missions possible, with their respective objectives, indicators and deadlines.

They will do so by dialoguing with the Member States and the European Parliament, as well as with the relevant stakeholders and, as appropriate, with the general public. Both the Mission Board and the Mission Assembly have Spanish experts selected by the European Commission to work on this important challenge facing Europe.

1,000 years are needed to produce one cm of soil

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