WORLD SOIL DAY 2017 - Land, Soils and Science IBGE Brussels, 4th - 6th December 2017


WORLD SOIL DAY 2017 -  Land, Soils and Science
IBGE Brussels, 4th  -  6th December 2017 

Let's talk about Land, Soils and Science
Land and soils require our attention! This celebration of World Soil Day is devoted to the topical research needs for soil and land use. The event will present and discuss state-of-the-art and pressing gaps  in European research on land and soils from the perspectives of policy makers, funders, end-users of  research and scientists.
Science creates and supports implementation of knowledge we need for sustainable  land use and soil management
Learn about

  • Research challenges for the future - what do policy-makers, end-users of research and scientists need and want Boundaries of research and knowledge
  • Selected projects in Europe on sustainable soil and land management
  • Meet with like-minded European stakeholders and research funders

Conference organisation

This event is organised by the European Commission funded Coordination and 
Support Action INSPIRATION and the Soils4EU 
service contract to DG Environment.
You can register to take part in the entire event or parts of it. Capacities are limited.  Further information is provided at
Bruxelles Environnement - IBGE, Avenue du Port 86c/ 3000, 1000 Brussels,
Belgium Information about venue and accessibility at
Side events at Herman Teirlinck Building, Avenue du Port 88.Accomodation
Please make your own accommodation arrangements, e.g.  at

Fees and early career support
Participation in the conference is free of charge. A limited budget is available on a first come first serve basis  to reimburse travel costs for participating early career persons, in particular PhD students. To qualify, you must  send a letter of motivation, CV and cost estimation to by latest 23 Nov. 2017. 

4 th Introduction | Implementing  
new research collaborations

10:00 Welcome / Registration
Registration and welcome coffee

11:15 Opening / Welcome
Welcome by conference chair and INSPIRATION 
coordinators Stephan Bartke and Detlef Grimski, 
German Environment Agency (UBA)
Welcome by European Commission  
Marie Yeroyanni | tbc, DG Research
Josiane Masson, DG Environment 
11:30 Soils4EU reports
Transboundary effects of soil degradation - Challenges and ways ahead 
Nina Hagemann, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Soil related ecosystem services - status, trends and value
Suzanne van der Meulen, deltares

12:30 Sustainable spatial planning, land use and soil management -  
         Closing knowledge gaps - implementing new research collaborations
The INSPIRATION Strategic Research Agenda - Topics and match-making of funders 
C. Paul Nathanail, University of Nottingham
Introduction to the afternoon sessions - Match-making and project workshops
Stephan Bartke, UBA

13:00 Lunch and networking


4 th Safe-of-the-art in EU research | 
INSPIRATION match-making

14:00 Parallel sessions
Several sessions support policy and funding institutions interested in collaborative provisioning of research projects. Stakeholders from practice and science are invited to discuss in workshops research needs related to transboundary effects of soil degradation and ecosystem services. 
Transnational research funding - Lessons from past for future collaborative funding
Chair: Isabelle Feix, ADEME
This session presents experiences and lessons learnt from SNOWMAN network
research funding activities. Opportunities for future transboundary collaborative 
funding actions will be discussed.
Part 1 : Transnational research funding - SNOWMAN network and projects 
-  Esther Goidts (introduction)
-  Marcel Marloie (Urban Soil project)
-  Dan Berggren-Kleja (IBRACS project) 
-  Jenny Norrman (Balance4P project) -  Valérie Guérin (IMaHg project)
-  Guénola Pérès (SUSTAIN project) 
Part 2: Lessons learnt from past for future collaborative funding: Yvonne Ohlsson, SGI, introduces  results of a SNOWMAN questionnaire and invites all participants to an interactive discussion. 

INSPIRATION match-making
On invitation
Based on identified research funding interests  for topics of the INSPIRATION research agenda,  a series of facilitated match-making events is  planed. If you wish to join, please indicate your  funding interests at

Soils4EU - Transboundary effects 
of soil degradation in the EU
Chair: N. Hagemann, UFZ
Soil degradation occurs in different forms such  as erosion, soil organic matter decline or sealing  and compaction. The transboundary impacts can  be economic, social and environmental, e.g. driving climate change, health problems and food  shortage. 
We bring together experts to exchange on the  transboundary effects of soil degradation, to  specify the challenges to overcome different  types of degradation and to discuss the availability of data. This also includes recommendations  for future research activities as well as policy implications.

Excursions "Le Petit Manchester"
Le Petit Manchester
The historic heart of Molenbeek was known in  the 19th century as "the Little Manchester Belgian". Join a guided tour through the old Molenbeek, discover the many traces of its social and  industrial history and the living area of today. 

Soils4EU - Soil ecosystems and 
their services
Chair: S. v. d. Meulen, deltares
Soil plays a key role in the provision of ecosystem services (ESS) and it does so in more ways  than many people expect. Soils4EU in cooperation with the MAES Soil working group provide  insight into status and trends of soil ESS potential, use and value. We support the inclusion of  soil condition in assessments for e.g. agro-, forest, freshwater and urban ecosystems.
The aim of this session to present the state of  the art with respect to the assessment of soil  ecosystems and their services and to discuss the  potential recommendations for soil managers, policy makers, researchers and funding bodies.  


5 thWorld-Soil-Day 2017
Land, Soils and Science

09:30 Welcome / Registration
Registration and welcome coffee

10:15 Welcome addresses to World Soil Day 2017 celebration in conjunction with INSPIRATION Final Conference "Land, Soils and Science" 
Why we need to talk about land and soil research today!
Lilian Busse, German Environment Agency - Head of Division 
Environmental Health and Protection of Ecosystems
The need for strategic research on land and soil for society
MEP Pavel Poc, Vice-Chair - Committee on Environment 
and Chair - Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable 
Development Intergroup of the European Parliament
Actions related to EU's soil policy
Claudia Olazabal, European Commission, DG Environment
Head of Unit Land Use & Management

11:00 Topical knowledge gaps and research needs of Europeans towards sustainability in spatial planning, land use and soil management: The INSPIRATION Strategic Research Agenda
Addressing societal challenges in a research agenda for 
soil management and land use
Annette Gatchett, U.S. EPA, Division Director
Outside the box thinking for an innovative research agenda
C. Paul Nathanail, University of Nottingham 

11:45 Policy perspectives: The role of land and soil science to address  
          societal challenges
Chair: Lilian Busse, German Environment Agency
High-level representatives discuss the role of soils on policy agendas. They 
illustrate examples, why soils matter from EU to local level. The debate will 
show why soil research is needed at different policy levels, and most impor-
tantly, what societal challenges must be addressed. 


5 thWorld-Soil-Day 2017
Land, Soils and Science

12:45 Lunch | Networking and poster session
Next to a buffet lunch, INSPIRATION partners present identified research and 
knowledge needs for more sustainable soil and land management in Europe. 

14:00 End-User perspectives: What Land and Soil Science do we need? 
Chair: Margot de Cleen, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environ-
ment; European Soil Expert Group
Representatives of different end-user groups debate on questions like: 
What do you need/want from policy and science? What are your knowledge 
gaps that need to be addressed? Do you want more applied or fundamental 
research? Is there too much or little policy on land and soils?

15:30 Science Perspectives: What Land and Soil Science do we want? 
Chair: Violete Geissen, WUR & European Soil Partnership
Representatives of different research groups will debate on: What type of 
science do we need (interdisciplinary, fundamental)? What are most critical 
areas of land and soil related science today? How to address data-informa- 
tion availability/issues (to be able to implement soil management (on local/
national scale))? What potential has citizen science? How to improve the 
science policy interface?

 16:30 Outlook: Lessons learned for land and soil research for 
Actions related to EU's research policy
Birgit de Boissezon, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation 
Head of Unit Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
Outlook to INSPIRATION implementation actions
Stephan Bartke, German Environment Agency

17:00 Poster session, reception and networking
We invite all participants to a poster and networking session at the Atrium of 
IBGE Brussels. Event closes at 18:00. 


6 th State-of-the-art in EU research |
INSPIRATION match-making

08:30 Registration

09:00 Keynote by Didier Vancutsem 
Didier Vancutsem is an international expert with large experience in Urban and 
Regional Planning, Landscape Planning, Infrastructure, Environmental Management 
and Integrated Strategies. Based in Munich / Germany, he operates as Office Director at urban scape | Vancutsem Landscape Architects + Urban Planners and conducts also research activities in European and international projects. He is Associate Professor / Lecturer at the Université Libre de Bruxelles / Faculty of Architecture, University of Applied Sciences Munich-Weihenstephan, Université de Lille, Higher Institute of Town Planning Brussels and at the Technical University Perm / Faculty of Architecture. Since October 2013 he is Secretary General of the International Society of City and Regional Planners. He is also member of different professional societies, honorary appointments in Europe and worldwide, AESOP representative and IFLA Europe Delegate.

10:00 Parallel sessions
Match-making sessions support policy and funding institutions interested in co-funding research collaborations. Stakeholders from practice and science are invited to discuss in workshops the state-of-the art knowledge and research needs. 

LANDMARK - Soil management, monitoring and understanding the supply and 
demand of soil functions at a European scale
Chair: Rachel Creamer, WUR
LANDMARK is a research project on the sustainable management of land and soil in  Europe. The questions that LANDMARK aims to address are: "How can we make the  most of our land? How can we ensure that our soils deliver on the many expectations  we have of our land?". These expectations (or 'demands') include:
1.  Primary productivity (agriculture and forestry)
2.  Water purification and regulation
3.  Carbon sequestration, cycling and regulation
4.  Provision of functional and intrinsic biodiversity
5.  Provision and cycling of nutrients.
The overall aim of LANDMARK is to comprehensively quantify the current and potential  supply of soil functions across the EU, as determined by soil properties (soil diagnostic  criteria), land use (arable, grassland, forestry) and soil management practices.

6 th State-of-the-art in EU research |
INSPIRATION match-making

     Parallel sessions - continued 

S.O.S. - Save Our 
Chair: Jos Brils
deltares | SedNet
Globally  river-sea-systems  are short of sediment mostly  due to damming. This causes dramatic impacts such as  drowning deltas. Scientists  and stakeholders should find  solutions. The session aims to  gain support and ingredients  for drafting of a call text to  promote as topic under ECFP9.

Precision governance  for agricultural soils
Chair: Bartosz 
Bartkowski, UFZ
There's a mismatch between spatial heterogeneity and multifunctionality of soils and current spatially inefficient soil  governance. While technological solutions are there (e.g.  precision farming), incentives  to align their application with  SDGs is missing. We discuss  chances and limits to more  site-specific soil governance.

Open Space,
Room Sylva
Based Day 1 and 2 of the  conference, we provide facilitated open space meetings to identify research  funding interests for topics of the INSPIRATION Strategic Research Agenda. To  join, please meet in room  Sylva. Indicated funding interests at  

12:00 Closing ceremony and next steps
Closing of Land, Soils & Science conference and INSPIRATION H2020 project - 
Start into a new phase of collaboration

12:15 Lunch | Networking

13:00 SOPHIE - Integration, innovation and standardization of    
   measuring Soil Hydro-Physics properties
Chair: Gerben Bakker and Martine van der Ploeg, WUR
Facilitator: Saskia Visser, programme lead sustainable
land use, WUR
The SOPHIE initiative's side event focuses at reliable SHP data 
and understanding as a means to reach commitment upon harmonisation, standardization and innovation of SHP properties, and to set up an international collaborating workforce. New, more advanced, faster, and cheaper measurement techniques must be developed and standardized, integrated and valorised to support EU-wide management of healthy soils.