On Thursday, April 16th 2015, a RECARE project session was presented on the 2015 General Assembly of the European Geophysical Union in Vienna, Austria. The session, called 'Soil threats & Ecosystem Services' (session SSS9.4) was organised by RECARE work package 2 leader Jannes Stolte, in cooperation with Jan Jacob Keizer who is leading work package 6.
The EGU General Assembly is one of Europe's largest conferences, with almost 12,000 participants, roughly 5,000 oral presentations and 8,500 poster presentations given during one week.
The RECARE Oral session was held in Room B2 of the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria, where around 80 participants enjoyed the presentations. After the oral presentations, the session was continued with poster presentations, where 18 posters were presented for the RECARE session.
Session SSS9.4 was successful with a full room of visitors during the oral session and an equal amount of visitors at the poster displays.
Professor Artemi Cerdà from the University of Valencia in Spain spent a stimulating day with 14-15 year old students discussing local soil erosion issues at the RECARE case study site in the Canyoles river basin, Spain. Interestingly, whilst the students were aware of global environmental issues, such as global warming, deforestation of the Amazon and plastic pollution of the oceans, they knew little about the environmental issues in their surrounding countryside, such as the soil erosion threat from local orange plantations and the loss of soil organic matter contributing CO2 to the atmosphere.
Further information about the soil erosion threats in the Canyoles river basin can be found here. A list of educational resources that can be used with school children to help explain the threats to our soils can be found on the RECARE hub here.
Although there is a large body of knowledge available on soil threats in Europe, the complexity and functioning of soil systems and their interaction with human activities, climate change (CC), and ecosystem services (ESS) is still not fully understood.
Therefore, the workpackage 2 team of the RECARE project organised an ESS workshop in Wageningen on May 19th 2014. The purpose of the workshop was to exchange background information of the concept of EcoSystem Services and their interaction with the main topic within RECARE: Soil Threats.
The presentations given by Leon Braat, Mark Everard and Gudrun Schwilch have been recorded and can be viewed here
The RECARE training on Stakeholder Interaction was successfully closed Friday September 19th.
The 24 international participants from the RECARE teams worked together for the whole week '...in an intense, mutual learning process with you on how to best set up the first series of stakeholder workshops at your respective sites. Thank you for being "fully present", and for all your valuable comments and suggestions!' - said workshop co-organiser Thomas Caspari.
The workshop program was filled with WP4, WP5 and WP9 and WP11 training activities from Monday until Friday. On Wednesday the Dutch Case Study of Olden Eibergen was visited.
The wealth of training material and documentation can be downloaded from the Stakeholder Interaction overview page after logging in. The second stage of the Stakeholder Interaction Training will be given around March/April 2015.
Today the United Nations launch the International Year of Soils 2015 in New York. The formal launch event of the IYS will be organised during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly to coincide with the first official World Soil Day. Concurrent events will take place in Rome, Bangkok and elsewhere in the world. The IYS aims to be a platform for raising awareness of the importance of soils for food security and essential eco-system functions. The objectives of the IYS are:
- to create full awareness of civil society and decision makers about the fundamental roles of soils for human's life;
- to achieve full recognition of the prominent contributions of soils to food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
- to promote effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
- to sensitize decision-makers about the need for robust investment in sustainable soil management activities aiming at healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
- to catalyze initiatives in connection with the SDG process and Post-2015 agenda;
- to advocate rapid enhancement of capacities and systems for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).