11 December 2023

Centennial IUSS 2024, Re Soil selects keynote speakers on agriculture and bioeconomy


One more month to submit your abstracts in the session sponsored by Re Soil Foundation at the IUSS 2024 International Union of Soil Sciences congress in May

by Matteo Cavallito


There is time until Jan. 15 to submit papers in response to the call for abstracts (full details here) launched by Re Soil Foundation as part of the Centennial IUSS 2024, the congress of the International Union of Soil Sciences that celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.

The event, scheduled for May 19-21 in Florence, Italy, aims “to empower the linkages with different disciplines, policy makers, stakeholders, institutions, and associations to effectively address civil society needs within agriculture, forestry, environment, urban planning, energy, education, and other societal issues,” the organizers explain. “Both soil scientists and specialists from other disciplines will participate to each session, focusing on past achievements and future challenges.”

The session at IUSS 2024

Oral blocks (1 hr each) will be assigned depending on the number of abstracts received in the session. Oral presentations will be 15 min each (max 30 min. in case of keynote speakers), including questions (12-min-presentations +3 min for questions is suggested). The starting point for the session coordinated by Re Soil is agriculture, which needs to be repositioned within national and EU policies on bioeconomy, promoting the use of good practices centered on soils protection, such as integrated and widespread livestock systems, biogas and biomethane production starting from livestock manure, use of organic amendments.

In this context, it is necessary promote carbon farming and foster the connection between research, innovation, technology and agriculture, to boost bioeconomy districts and other good agronomic practices that can find a springboard in Lighthouse Farms and Living Labs.

As part of the Prepsoil project, which aims at facilitating the deployment of the European Mission “A Soil deal for Europe” across European regions, the Po Valley has been identified for agricultural land use as one of the 21 regions in which an assessment of soil needs has been carried out with the aim of setting up a balanced overview of management options to respond to external drivers and optimize soil related ecosystem services. As a partner of the Prepsoil project, Re Soil Foundation coordinated the activities in the Po Valley. This work has settled the conditions to commence a broader activity in Emilia-Romagna.

Analyzing soil needs

Building upon the experience earned in this context, the event aims at investigating soil needs and identifying potential solutions for highly populated areas mainly characterised by industrial and intensive agricultural practices.

The session will focus on agricultural soil quality assessment and monitoring, soil sealing, identification of agricultural best practices to improve carbon sequestration, evaluation of carbon farming potential in the circular bioeconomy context.

Other topics will include models of carbon farming around the world, territorial business development models and nature-based solutions, legislative, financial and social aspects, stakeholder engagement and identification of living labs and lighthouse farms.

Ultimately, the event intends to bring together the main national and international stakeholders and experts to explore how linking agriculture with research and innovation, soil monitoring, engagement efforts as well as evidence-based policies can contribute to the transition towards healthy soils.