Programme Themes

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 our 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, we welcome contributions 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.

More information regarding the Eurosoil 2020 Programme will be released here soon.

Important Dates

2 December 2019 | Call for Contributions Open

6 January 2020 | Early Bird Registrations Open

20 February 2020 | Call for Contributions Deadline

Mid-May 2020 | Notifications to Accepted Contribution Submitters

28 May 2020 | Early Bird Registrations Deadline

29 July 2020 | Late Registrations Deadline (On-Site Registration Fees Start)

The Selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Informing the Conference Theme

NO POVERTY – End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Soil-related objectives

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.

Theme Leader

Reto Meuli – Agroscope / Head of Research Group / Swiss Soil Monitoring Network

Scientific Theme Committee Members

Edmundo Barrios – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Christian Frutiger – Nestlé
Markus Giger – Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Switzerland
Erwin Hepperle – ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Ronald Vargas – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Anthony Whitbread – International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. These examples were proposed by the Scientific Theme Committee to help define the content. Sessions addressing additional topics are very welcome and will be given equal consideration.

Scientific topics
Soil as the basis for life:
– Sustainable soil management in low income countries
– Reducing and avoiding soil degradation in smallholder agriculture and family farmers
– Climate change adaptations in smallholder agriculture and family farmers
– Restoring and sustaining landscapes that support agri-food systems, as agroecology and other ecosystem based approaches e.g. agro-forestry
– Restoration of soil-mediated ecosystem services
– Links between sustainable land use and soil management

Social topics
Soil, rural livelihoods and gender:
– Land tenure and soil health
– Engage in debates on the emerging sharing economy
– Poverty and land degradation
– Farmers welfare and soil health
– Empowering women as smallholder farmers
– Investments in gender-sensitive soil and agriculture education

Implementation topics
Capacity building and knowledge-sharing strategies for empowering people:
– Facilitate and organize education in soil fertility preservation and restoration
– Encourage the processing of local products
– Fostering knowledge co-development and sharing for sustainable soil management
– Promotion of family agriculture linked to local development contributing to food sovereignty
– Soil education in low income countries
– Training courses in husbandry technologies for a more efficient and sustainable use of the soil resource

Economic topics
Improving the financial basis for a sustainable soil management:
– Result-oriented management schemes for best practice dissemination
– Financial compensation of soil preservation services in agriculture
– Importance of environmental services provided by soils for poverty reduction
– Sustainable soil management and payment for ecosystem services schemes
– Soil restoration and the emerging circular and solidarity economy
– Develop agricultural cooperatives as a training facility for sustainable soil management
– Establishing microcredit systems for smallholder farmers

Technical topics
Promote new Information and Communication opportunities:
– Provide technical skills to grow crops e.g. YouTube training videos
– Information and Communication Technology and its contributions to sustainable land management in the smallholder sector (extension, training and education; management and decision support)

Policy / legal topics
Policy and legal measures to promote wide-spread ownership of land and poverty reduction:
– Access to land and land tenure systems, e.g. planting a traditional garden
– To ensure the availability of land as the main asset for agricultural production
– Reduce land fragmentation and landlessness
– Addressing global competition for land resources and land grabbing
– Promote import substitution by local products
– Support food system governance, e.g. food sovereignty, by supply chain management
– To link technology generators, technology disseminators and farmers to contribute to poverty alleviation
– Acknowledging the nexus between responsible governance and sustainable soil management
– Land degradation neutrality; opportunities and challenges for poverty reduction
– Land ownership and land policy for smallholder farmers
– Best practices labels

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

Soil-related objectives

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.

Theme Leader

Michael Zimmermann – Scientific Officer – Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG

Scientific Theme Committee Members

Johan Bouma – Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands
Anna Bozzi – Science Industries
Else Bünemann-König, – FIBL, Department of Soil Sciences, Switzerland
Stéphane Burgos – Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL
Jochen Mayer – Agroscope, Switzerland
Taru Sanden – AGES Department for Soil Health and Plant Nutrition, Austria
Michael Schaepman – University of Zürich, Switzerland
Fabienne Thomas – SBV Swiss farmer association, Switzerland
Marcel van der Heijden – Agroscope / University of Zürich, Switzerland
Saskia Visser – Program Lead Sustainable Land Use / Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands
Martin Wiesmeier – Lehrstuhl für Bodenkunde und Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft Weihenstephan, Germany

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. These examples were proposed by the Scientific Theme Committee to help define the content. Sessions addressing additional topics are very welcome and will be given equal consideration.

Scientific topics
– Effects of farming practices, amendments and pesticides on soil functions
– Soil quality assessment
– Nutrient fluxes and balances
– Result or action-oriented management schemes of soil quality: balance and prospects
– Sustainable use of grasslands
– Soil improving cropping systems

Social topics
– Filling the yield gap of low input systems
– Improving soil quality with traditional farming techniques

Implementation topics
– Climate resilient production systems
– Organic farming
– Sustainable intensification
– Soil-less food production systems
– Remote sensing applications
– Knowledge transfer from science to policy makers and farmers

Economic topics
– The prospects of limited fertilizer resources
– Value chain from soil to food
– Water demands in agricultural production systems

Technical topics
– Status and prospects of precision and smart agriculture
– Digital Soil Mapping
– Development and application of rhizosphere-technology

Policy topics
– Land use management and food security
– Impact of national legislations on sustainable agricultural production systems
– Subsidy concepts to foster sustainable soil management

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

Soil-related objectives

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.

Theme Leader

Rainer Schulin – Professor emeritus for Soil Protection ETH Zürich / Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems

Scientific Theme Committee Members

Mónica Amorim – University of Aveiro, Portugal
Moritz Bigalke – University of Bern, Switzerland
Thomas Bucheli – Agroscope Zürich-Reckenholz, Switzerland
Laurent Charlet – Joseph Fourier University of Grenoble, France
Héctor Miguel Conesa Alcaraz, – Polytechnical University of Cartagena, Spain
Marco Contin – University of Udine, Italy
María Teresa Domínguez Núñez – University of Sevilla, Spain
Michael Evangelou – Eberhard Recycling, Rümlang, Switzerland
Michal Gasiorek – University of Krakow, Poland
Violette Geissen, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands
Margaret Graham – University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Bettina Hitzfeld – Federal Office for the Environment, Berne, Switzerland
Petra Kidd, CSIC – Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Rolf Krebs – Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Wädenswil, Switzerland
Markus Lenz – University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)
Michel Mench – INRA, Bordeaux, France
Dietmar Müller-Grabherr – UBA, Vienna, Austria
Bernd Nowack – Empa, Dübendorf, Switzerland
Markus Puschenreiter – BOKU, Vienna, Austria
Jörg Römbke – ECT Ecotoxicology, Germany
Kees van Gestel – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Joke van Wensem – Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Netherlands
Christiane Wermeille – Federal Office for the Environment, Berne, Switzerland

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. These examples were proposed by the Scientific Theme Committee to help define the content. Sessions addressing additional topics are very welcome and will be given equal consideration.

Scientific topics
Soil as factor of health and well-being
– Toxicology and ecotoxicology of soil pollutants and combined effects of multiple contaminants
– Soil and nutritional quality of food and feed
– Ecosystem functions and services of soils in relation to human and environmental health
– Soil biodiversity as factor of health and well-being
– Medical geology and pedology, health effects of native soil substances

Risks for health and well-being arising from existing pollution, in particular:
– Trace elements (Cd, Pb, As, Sb, Hg, etc.) and their chemical species
– Radioactive contaminants
– Degradable organic contaminants and their metabolites
– Bound residues of past applications of pesticides and biocides
– Persistent organic pollutants (PAHs, PCBs, dioxins, PFOS, etc.)
– Natural and synthetic particulates (toxic dust, asbestos etc.)

Emerging chemical and biological soil contaminants
– Nanomaterials and microplastics and their direct and indirect impacts on health and well-being as and on soil pollutants
– Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), veterinary phar­ma­ceuticals, antibiotics, hormone-active and neurotoxic substances, …
– Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
– Rare earth and other novel-technology critical elements
– Soil-derived pathogens and vectors of diseases
– Antibiotic resistance genes, GMOs, …
– Novel pesticides and biocides (e.g. neonicotinoids)
– Natural toxins of microbial and plant origin

Social topics
– Factors determining societal acceptance of risk assessment methodo­logies, threshold values and soil remediation schemes
– Soil protection strategies and policies
– Involvement of stakeholders

Implementation topics
– Prevention strategies to reduce risks of soil pollution arising from novel products and materials
– Approval and registration procedures
– Soil monitoring strategies and methodology
– Risk reduction by closing material flow cycles
– Methods of risk analysis and setting risk-based standards for soil pollution
– Exposure assessment (e.g. total vs. bioavailable fractions of pollutants, pathways to be taken into account, …)
– Effect assessment
– Risk assessment (predictive and site-specific)
– Accounting for soil pollution risks in spatial planning
– Managing soil in crop plant cultivation for the production of healthy food
– Integrating soil remediation into sustainable land use

Economic topics
– Costs of soil contamination effects on health and well-being
– Costs and benefits of soil pollution prevention vs. remediation
– Cost-benefit analysis of measures to maintain ecosystem services of soils

Technical topics
– Innovative soil remediation techniques
– Recovery of precious metals, mineral nutrients and other compounds
– Treatment of mixed contamination
– Combined physico-chemical and biological remediation approaches
– Success stories and failures of contaminated soil remediation
– Analytical methods
– State-of-the-art and novel analytical methods
– Target, suspect and non-target analysis
– Multi-residue analysis
– Methods to determine the ecotoxicity of soil pollutants

Policy topics
– General soil protection policies and strategies
– Steps towards an EU soil protection directive
– China’s “Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan”
– Preserving and improving soil functions (e.g. filter, buffer and reactor function, primary production, carbon sequestration)
– Re-evaluation of legislative threshold values for polluted soils (e.g. bioavailability vs. total contaminant concentrations)
– Regionalisation as a way to improve soil protection policies and measures
– Involvement of stakeholders
– Policies relating to emerging soil contaminants

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

Soil-related objectives

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.

Theme Leaders

Jörg Luster – Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research / WSL Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry
Thomas Keller – Agroscope / Department of Natural Resources and Agriculture

Scientific Theme Committee Members

Christine Alewell – University of Basel, Switzerland
Jennie Barron – Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU, Uppsala, Sweden
Annemarie Bastrup-Birk – European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark
Peter de Ruiter – Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils ITPS, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Emmanuel Frossard – ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Stefan Glatzel – University of Vienna, Austria
Axel Göttlein – TU München, Germany
Armin Keller – Agroscope Reckenholz, Switzerland
Corsin Lang – Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, Bern, Switzerland
María José Marqués – Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain
Edward Mitchell – University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Paul Murphy – University College Dublin, Ireland
Dani Or – ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Panos Panagos – EC Joint Research Centre, European Soil Data Centre, Ispra, Italy
Stephan Peth – University of Kassel, Germany
Irmi Seidl – Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Wolfgang G. Sturny – LANAT Office for Agriculture and Nature, Zollikofen, Switzerland
Wim van der Putten – Netherlands Institute of Ecology, NIOO-KNAW, Wageningen, the Netherlands
Hans-Jörg Vogel – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Halle, Germany

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. These examples were proposed by the Scientific Theme Committee to help define the content. Sessions addressing additional topics are very welcome and will be given equal consideration.

Scientific topics
– Soil biodiversity (assessment, interaction with ecosystem functions)
– Linking above-ground biodiversity with below-ground soil functions
– Water infiltration into and retention by soils
– Soil-groundwater and soil-surface water interactions, including soil filter function
– Application of the ecosystem nutrition concept to different ecosystems
– Assessing and monitoring acidification and nutrient status of forest soils
– Factors determining stability and quality of soil organic matter
– Effect of anthropogenic disturbances (Soil compaction, soil tillage, crop rotation, organic matter loss, clear-cutting) on soil functions
– Effect of natural disturbances (drought, windthrow, erosion, flooding, fire) on soil functions
– Recovery of soil functions after disturbance (from compaction, erosion, meliorative soil interventions and land remodelling, fire, …)
– Peat degradation and peat management
– Digital mapping of soil functions
Understanding factors determining soil structure and how they can be managed

Social topics
– Managing for multiple ecosystem services (e.g. food/fibre production & biodiversity; flood protection & water purification)
– Sustainable Development- international case studies in reversing land degradation to restore soil functions and achieve sustainable social and economic development
– Soil protection vs. Nature conservation
– Communicating soil science knowledge to practitioners and the public

Implementation topics (delineation from technical topics not always clear)
– Soil biodiversity (monitoring, prevention of loss, restoration)
– Erosion: monitoring and prevention
– Landslides: monitoring and prevention
– Sustainable timber production
– Implementing measures to increase water infiltration and retention in land use management
– Managing amount and quality of soil organic matter in agriculture and forestry
– Managing soils for water resources protection
– Physical soil protection in timber harvesting and tillage
– Land-use management options to increase the resilience of soil functions to disturbances
– Preventing and combatting desertification
– Influence of land use change on soil hydrology
– Harmonization and use of soil data bases

Economic topics
– Economic incentives for sustainable management of soil functions
– Valuation of soil functions
– Property rights and soil functions
– Prices and market failures – impacts on soil functions
– Legal provisions and enforcement in soil protection
– The costs of soil threats

Technical topics (delineation from implementation topics and scientific topics not always clear)
– Engineering solutions to stabilize soils
– Soil amendments for water purification
– Liming and fertilization of forest soils to mitigate acidification and nutrient imbalances
– Soil structure management
– Peat restoration
– Wetland and river floodplain restoration
– Restoration of compacted soils
– Restoration of deserts
– Remote sensing of soil properties, functions and degradation

Policy topics
– Implications of the EU water framework directive for management of soil functions
– Implementation of soil in EU policies directed to biodiversity (habitats directive, EU 6th Environmental Action Programme, Messsage from Malahide)
– Implications of the EU floods directive for management of soil functions
– Soil functions in Forest Management and Agricultural Management policy
– The Swiss ordinance relating to impacts on the soil as role model (!?)
– Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) after 2020

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

Soil-related objectives

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.

Theme Leader

Elena Havlicek – Office for the Environement FOEN – Soil and Biotechnology Division

Scientific Theme Committee Members

Joel Amossé – INRA, France
Eric Brevik – Dickinson State University, USA
Gabriele Broll – University of Osnabrück, Germany
Géraldine Bullinger – School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, Switzerland
Constanza Calzolari – Institute of Biometeorology of the Italian National Research Council, Italy
Reto Camenzind – Federal Office for Spatial Development, Switzerland
Margot De Cleen – Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management, Netherlands
Peter de Ruiter – University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Fabienne Favre – School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, Switzerland
Baptiste Grard – AgroParisTech, France
Rolf Krebs – Institute for Natural Resource Sciences ZHAW, Switzerland
Kirstin Marx – German Environment Agency, Germany
Jean-Louis Morel – Soil and environmental sciences, University of Lorraine, Nancy, France
Tatiana Prokofieva – Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
Thomas Scholten – University of Tübingen, Germany
Christophe Schwartz – Soil and environmental sciences, University of Lorraine, Nancy, France
Jaroslava Sobocka – Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute VUPOP, Bratislava, Slovakia
Silvia Tobias – Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Switzerland
Isabelle Verbeke – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Paola Vigano – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
Borut Vrscaj – Department for Agroecology and Natural Resources, Agricultural Institute, Slovenia

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. These examples were proposed by the Scientific Theme Committee to help define the content. Sessions addressing additional topics are very welcome and will be given equal consideration.

Scientific topics
– Pedogenesis and classification of urban soils
– Urban soil properties, functions and ecosystem services
– Urban soil mapping: spatial mapping, soil functions mapping, techniques in monitoring and modelling in urban areas
– Water cycle in urban soils and water supply to soil organisms (plants, fauna)
– Urban soil biodiversity: microbial communities, soil organisms, genetic diversity reservoir
– Urban soil biodiversity: functions, conservation (urban parks, cemeteries, etc.), urban vs rural, brown structure, ecological corridors, invasive species
– Processes of urban soil degradation: soil pollution (assessment, bioavailability, remediation, bioremediation and reclamation), compaction, sealing
– Biochemical cycles in urban soils
– Cultural (archaeological) heritage of urban soils

Social topics
– Social/cultural perception of urban soils and functions
– How to connect people in urban centers to the soils that supply their food, fiber, and other services
– Awareness raising and education (urban soils in environmental education)
– Urban agriculture and gardening: enhancing the social link,
– Gardening and work with soil as health treatment
– Blocking/unblocking mechanisms for implementation of soil protection methods in constructed areas
– Urban soils: is citizens science possible?

Implementation topics
– Soil management/ecological engineering on construction sites
– Land unsealing/desealing and land recycling : circular land management
– Designing urban soils for ecosystem services (e.g. climate change mitigation, runoff water management, biodiversity)
– Urban agriculture (techniques and challenges)
– Indicator tools to assess urban functions and biodiversity

Economic topics
– Valuation of urban soil functions and ecosystem services
– Valuation and value creation by sustainable use of soils

Technical topics
– Technosols for urban and industrial environmental applications,
– Techniques of remediation/bioremediation  of polluted soils
– Organic waste recycling (e.g. composting, vermicomposting), soil fertility and carbon sequestration in cities
– Development of adapted Technosols
– Mitigating the urban climate (UHI)

Policy topics
– Spatial planning: managing urban soils
– City planners, spatial developers and architects: what knowledge on the soil system is necessary to integrate soils in urban planning?
– Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management: adaptation for urban soils
– Policies and strategies supporting quality of urban soils, ecosystem services of urban soils in decision making

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

Soil-related objectives

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?

Theme Leader

Johan Six – Professor ETH Zurich – Department of Environmental Systems Science

Scientific Theme Committee Members

Samuel Abiven – UZH, Switzerland
Jorge Alvaro-Fuentes – EEAD-CSIC, Spain
Claire Chenu – INRA, France
Franziska De Vries – University of Manchester, UK
Axel Don – Thunen Institute, Germany
Frank Hagedorn – WSL, Switzerland
Martin Hartmann – ETH, Switzerland
Ivan Janssens – University of Antwerpen, Belgium
Eric Justes – CIRAD, France
Thomas Katterer – SLU, Europe
Jens Leifeld – Agroscope, Switzerland
Markus Steffens – FIBL, Switzerland

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. These examples were proposed by the Scientific Theme Committee to help define the content. Sessions addressing additional topics are very welcome and will be given equal consideration.

Scientific topics
– Impact of land use change on greenhouse gas sinks versus sources
– Impact of climate change on greenhouse gas emissions from soils
– Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils (crop- and grassland)
– Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands and floodplains
– Management of organic soils for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
– Synergies of greenhouse gas emission reductions for climate mitigation, adaptation and food security
– Adaptation to Climate Change: understanding and counteracting the effects of dry spells and heavy precipitation cycles on soil functions in ecosystem management
– Monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions under Business As Usual and alternative practices
– Scientific basis for REDD+ implementation (including agroforestry)

Social topics
– Farmers and farmers organization willingness and obstacles to perform greenhouse gas emission reductions
– Social acceptance of policy instruments for greenhouse gas emission reductions
– Enabling conditions for greenhouse gas emission reductions

Implementation topics
– Negative emissions management strategies in agriculture
– Provision of incentives for greenhouse gas emission reductions
– Accounting for the permanence versus reversibility of greenhouse gas emission reductions in incentive schemes
– Adaptation of cropping systems triggered by social boundaries

Economic topics
– Monetarization of agricultural negative emission technologies
– Cost and benefits of soil carbon farming
– Global agricultural market and trade implementations of soil carbon farming
– Economic boundaries and trade-offs for adaptation of greenhouse gas emission reduction options

Technical topics
– Soil negative emissions by improving cropping systems
– New assessment tools for monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions at larger scale
– Life cycle analysis of soil-related mitigation measures
– Reporting of soil-related greenhouse gas accounting at country scale


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