Caring for soil is caring for life: soil health policies and innovation


(in-person and online)
Thursday, 28 October, 2021
Sala Diotallevi 1 Hall Sud

Organized by:  Ecomondo Scientific Technical Committee, European Mission for Soil Health and Food, Re Soil Foundation, Coldiretti

Life on Earth depends on healthy soils. The soil under our feet is a living system – home to many fascinating plants and animals, whose invisible interactions ensure our well-being and that of the planet. Soils provide us with nutritious food and other products as well as with clean water and flourishing habitats for biodiversity. At the same time, soils can help slow the onset of climate change and make us more resilient to extreme climate events such as droughts and floods. Soils preserve our cultural heritage and are a key part of the landscapes that we all cherish. Simply put, healthy living soils keep us, and the world around us, alive. Although we pay very little attention to soil, which is a fragile resource that needs to be carefully managed and safeguarded for future generations. One centimeter of soil can take hundreds of years to form but can be lost in just a single rainstorm. Even where soil degrades more slowly hidden beneath our feet, the effects are severe and difficult to reverse. 60-70% of EU soils are unhealthy, 25% of land are at high or very high risk of desertification in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe. It is estimated that the costs associated with soil degradation in the EU exceed 50 billion € per year. All this not only affects our economy, but also safe food production and what nature provides for humanity to survive. The European Commission Mission’s goal is that by 2030, at least 75% of all soils in each EU Member State are healthy or show significant improvement. So, we need to act now!
The conference will offer an overview of the evolution of strategies and policies closely related to soil health and will show case studies of how a regenerative agriculture and the circular bioeconomy, which see their starting and ending point in the soil, represent an essential tool for reversing the course of soil degradation, creating value in the territories.

Section Chairs
Catia Bastioli – Member of the EC Mission Board for Soil Health and Food
Kerstin Rosenow – Head of Unit Research and Innovation, DG AGRI


9.35 Welcome by Catia Bastioli

Andrea Tilche – Representative of Italian Minister for Ecological Transition
César Luena – MEP, rapporteur of the Parliament on Biodiversity Strategy 2030
Angelo Riccaboni – National representative of the Mission Soil Health and Food
Roberto Moncalvo – Coldiretti – Re Soil Foundation

Soil Health and Food policy framework
Moderated by Kerstin Rosenow

European Circular Bioeconomy Policy Initative
David Newman – ECBPI

The EU Soil Observatory
Giovanni De Santi – European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre

The Farm to Fork strategy within the new Common Agricultural Policy
Tassos Haniotis – Director of Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis in the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission

The European Action Plan for organic farming
Eduardo Cuoco – Director of IFOAM EU

New funding opportunities in sustainability and biodiversity
Marco Falzetti – Director of the Agency for the Promotion of European Research (APRE)

Research and innovation networks for soil quality
Moderated by Kerstin Rosenow

The regenerative movement Kiss The Ground
Finian Makepeace, Co-founder of Kiss the Ground

The lighthouse farm project
Giulia Bongiorno, Researcher at the soil biology Group of Wageningen
Mariana De Bernardini, coordinator of the lighthouse network

Regeneration for clean and healthy soil: the Italian case history
Sara Guerrini, Re Soil Foundation Agriculture Public Affairs – Novamont

Call for papers: the most innovative solutions for soil health and food Pitch (5 min each)

Toward healthier soils increasing SOC and storing CO2: the Black To the Future project (funded by Eit-Food)
Nicolas Greggio, University of Bologna

From Enochar to Long Term Experiment Platform (LTEP): assessing long term
effects of compost and biochar application to soils and circular patterns
Enrico Balugani – Soil physics and hydrology Ph.D, University of Bologna

Biodegradable plastics: effects on functionality and fertility of two different soils
Martina Mazzon, University of Bologna

ZERO The interactive guide to non-waste
Barbara Molinario, Road to green 2020

Conclusion by the chair
SESSION POSTER: Creation of an Area Brand in the protected territories of Mount Etna and Alcantara River
Valerio Salvatore Del Fiume, University of Catania