13 October 2023

The States General of the Soil return to Rimini

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The date is for November 9th. Objective: to create an opportunity for discussion between the academic and institutional actors, involved in defining best practices in favor of the soil. Two sessions and dozens of experts are scheduled

by Emanuele Isonio

 

A day of work, divided into two sessions in which dozens of national and international experts will participate. Common thread: delve deeper into the steps necessary to build sustainable carbon cycles through technologies for nature-based solutions which on the one hand are able to bring organic substance back into degraded soils and on the other contribute to the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.

On November 9th, the Ecomondo Fair in Rimini will host the second edition of the “General States of the Soil”. The Joint Research Center of the European Commission and the Ecomondo Scientific Committee will contribute to the organization, together with Re Soil Foundation. 

Looking for the best solutions to bring carbon back into the soil

“During the first edition of the States General, last year we noticed how important it was to provide soil system experts and technicians from national and European institutions with a moment of discussion and in-depth analysis dedicated to the best strategies to achieve the objective of having healthy soils and combat their degradation” explains Debora Fino, president of Re Soil Foundation.

After bringing together the main national and international stakeholders and experts last year to develop a programmatic platform to support the development of an Italian Soil Strategy, which led to the drafting of a document outlining the priorities for soils health, this year a further piece will be added to the States General.

In fact, the protagonists will be technologies for nature-based solutions capable of increasing soil organic substance and carbon. “They are in fact essential elements, together with a harmonized framework at European level that incorporates carbon farming, the storage of carbon in the soil and the sustainable growth of biomass to implement concrete programs aimed at restoring soil health and combating the emission of greenhouse gases” comments Fino.

Just remember that, according to the Commission, carbon farming should guarantee an overall saving of 42 million tonnes of CO2 in Europe by the end of the decade.

La bioeconomia e il carbon farming offrono importanti opportunità sulla strada verso la neutralità climatica. Immagine: József Iván, DGAgri, Bioeconomy For Soil Regeneration Webinar, 3 giugno 2021.

SOURCE: József Iván, DGAg ri, Bioeconomy For Soil Regeneration Webinar, 3 giugno 2021.

The work program

The morning session of the States General will this year be dedicated to presenting the latest European policy update and providing an overview of the main elements needed to support a successful soil strategy, starting with data monitoring systems.

Among the expected speakers are Vannia Gava, deputy minister of the environment; Marta Gomez San Juan, representative of the FAO Climate, Biodiversity and Environment Office; Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont. Three European Commission officials will also speak: Kerstin Rosenow, Head of Research and Innovation Unit, DG AGRI; Christian Holzleitner, Head of Unit Land Economy and Carbon Removals, DG Climate; Mirco Barbero, Team Leader of Soil Team. Land Use & Management Unit, DG ENVI; Alessandra Zampieri, Director of “Sustainable Resources”, JRC.

In the afternoon session, however, a focus on the Italian scenario will be presented, including an overview of the actions undertaken at national level as part of Horizon projects financed by the European Mission “A Soil Deal for Europe”.

Among the speakers in the afternoon, Michele Munafò, service manager for the national environmental information system; Francesca Assennato of the Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Unit of ISPRA; Alessandro Bratti, general secretary of the Po River District Authority; Roberta Farina, coordinator of SoilHUB of CREA. During the session, some best practices for soil protection adopted by agricultural companies that collaborate with Re Soil will also be illustrated.