SOILdarity Workshop on Soil Health Living Labs

About 95% of what we eat comes from soil. It sounds quite obvious but we too often neglect the relation that exists between food and farmland. There has been a deep separation in recent decades between food and the environments in which it is produced. To reiterate that food begins with soil and that its management plays a key role in food security, the overarching theme of the World Soil Day 2022, held on December 5, is: ‘Soils, Where Food Begins’.

On this very special day, SOILdarity has announced an upcoming project event dedicated to raise awareness on the relation between soil health and the transition to sustainable food production systems.

The workshop A living lab for a just transition to a sustainable food production system based on soil health and ecosystem services will take place on 17th January 2023 in Brussels in a hybrid format.

The workshop

The workshop will offer the chance to raise awareness on the preliminary steps the project consortium has taken for the development of a living lab in Alentejo region (Portugal) which will outlive the project itself.

One of our main goals is to map what has already been done in Portugal and Europe, which challenges need to be addressed, which successful practices and methodologies can be transferred from more mature living lab experiences to Alentejo, discuss opportunities for funding and for collaboration with European partners which are part of the SOILdarity network. This interaction will provide key insights on common understandings, problems and difficulties that living labs are facing in the development process. Hence, we want to debate possible solutions to make this initiative sustainable in the long term.

Programme | (CET, Brussels time)

1st Part | 9:30 – 11:00

9:30 – 9:40 | Gabriele QuattrocchiEuknow project advisor – “Welcome and introduction to SOILdarity”

9:40 – 09:55 | Cristina CruzProfessor in Plant Biology at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon – “The path from SOILdarity to soil related sustainable development and the need for a Living Lab in Alentejo”

09:55 – 10:10 | Ana Maria VenturaFaculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon – “A Living Lab in Alentejo: strengths, needs and the regional context.”

10:10 – 10:25 | Marcos NogueiraH2020-AURORAL coordinator – “Rural is Europe’s new frontier. Healthy soil is the most critical dimension for making it sustainable. H2020-AURORAL tools enable the use of digital tools for supporting intelligent territorial management in rural areas.”

10:25 – 10:50 | Note & Vote: How to engage the farming community and society?

10:50 – 11:00 | Coffee Break

2nd Part | 11:00 – 13:00

11:00 – 11:15 | Giulia CampodonicoEuropean Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) – “Soil Health Living Labs and what NATI00NS project will do to support them”

11:15 – 11:30 | Manlio Bacco, PhD – Institute of Information Science and Technologies (ISTI), National Research Council (CNR) –   “Living Labs in the H2020 DESIRA project”

11:30 – 11:45 | Didier Stilmant, head of the ‘Sustainability, systems and prospectives’ department at CRA-W – “Lighthouse farms and living labs to explore wicked problem, an example”

11:45 – 12:00 | Leigh Ann Winowiecki, PhD – Global Research Lead for Soil and Land Health at Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF)– “Advances in monitoring and tracking soil health and building coalitions to scale soil health globally”

12:00 – 12:20 | Note & Vote: How to make Living Labs economically sustainable when public funds end?

12:20 – 12:35 | Tayfun Bahsi – 17 Sustainable Services –  “The importance of financial security and peer-to-peer learning and how it can be linked with business cases which can support “living labs” approach”

12:35 – 12:45 | Giuseppe Saija – EUKNOW Director – “Mission soil, an overview of the next round of calls for proposals”

How to register

You can participate in the event either vitually or in person. Select the most suitable solution for you here below and click to get further information.

DEADLINE for registering: January 6 for participating in person, but places are limited, so hurry up! Due to the nature of the event, the places in the virtual room will be also limited.

SOILdarity, what is going on?

SOILdarity is a H2020 twinning project aiming to boost the capacities of researchers in soil and agricultural sciences to deliver impact to society at large. The project is currently building up new opportunities for collaborations in research and innovation activities to deliver concrete results that can be adopted at territorial level to maintain or restore soil health in the regional food production systems. The project shares the objectives of the European Green Deal and sustains the momentum of the Mission “A Soil Deal for Europe”, which aims to pioneer, showcase, and accelerate the transition to healthy soils by 2030, supporting the long-term commitments towards the creation of 100 Living Labs (LLs) and Lighthouses.

The project is coordinated by the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes – cE3c through the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Portugal), having as partners the Migal InstituteUniversity of Gent and euknow (BE).