The European mission “A soil deal for Europe” has the ambitious goal of guiding the transition to healthy soils in Europe by 2030. Key elements for achieving this goal are research centers on the territories (Living Labs), farms virtuous companies that act as a model (Lighthouse Farms) and a multi-sectoral and shared research approach.
The Re Soil foundation was created with the aim of boosting real change starting from soil protection and the key concept of territorial regeneration and is a partner of the European PREPSOIL project.
The PREPSOIL project, coordinated by the University of Aarhus (DK), involves 19 partners on the European territory and aims to facilitate the achievement of the objectives of the European Mission, through interaction, knowledge sharing and the collection of information on different territories.
PREPSOIL has selected 21 study areas in Europe, which will serve as laboratories for analyzing different soil management options and for optimizing their ecosystem services. In these areas, Living Labs and Lighthouse farms representative of the area will also be identified, in order to contribute to the increase of knowledge and the sharing of good practices. The lowland area of the Emilia-Romagna Region has been selected as a demonstration region for Italy.
EXCALIBUR, an H2020 project coordinated by CREA (Italy), aims at increasing the knowledge about the interaction between horticultural crops and native soil biodiversity, as affected by microbial biostimulants, biopesticides and bioeffectors (organic biostimulants and fertilisers). Improving soil biodiversity through a correct application of these products, obtained from selected microbial strains and formulated to achieve an optimal performance, is expected to promote the reduction of chemical inputs towards a more sustainable agriculture.
In this respect, 32 trials are performed in 8 EU countries under different pedo-climatic conditions with three major crops (apple, strawberry and tomato) managed under both organic and conventional methods. The impact on biodiversity is assessed at several trophic levels, from bacteria to fungi, to nematodes and protists up to mesofauna and earthworms applying different methods.
The workshop is aimed at all stakeholders in the area who manage the soil at various levels (institutions, research centres, farmers) and aims to bring about a dialogue between the various players to highlight the state of the art, needs and threats, together with good practices and solutions to be applied to the soils of the region to achieve the objectives of the European Soil Mission.