European Soil Alliance held a Meeting in Tulln - on May 6 and 7, 2010


„Soil is the basis for our lives. More than 90 % of the whole food stem from the soil. It is a matter of sensibly using and carefully protecting our soil", stated Environmental Counsel Dr. Stephan Pernkopf.

Meeting of Soil Alliance: Fertile Soils

The 9th international annual meeting of the European Land and Soil Alliance of towns, districts and municipalities this time took place in Tulln at the Danube. Around 180 persons met for a technical exchange and an informative framework program. Six technical lectures and four workshops at the Tulln town hall focused on the topic "to use and to protect fertile soils". 25 information stands from partners of the soil alliance showed a rich spectrum of offers and initiatives for environmental and soil conservation.

The significance of soil as the basis of alimentation has largely fallen into oblivion in the industrial states. Soils, however, are an essential basis of life for man, who produces in them over 90 per cent of all food, animal fodder and inorganic fibers. The fertility of soil is connected to a careful treatment of soil and a sustainable cultivation, which especially takes into consideration the build-up of humus.

In order for plants to grow, they need a large number of nutrients, which they have to take out of fertile soil in a dissolved state.


Download of the lectures

Download of the list of participants

copy rights for photos: Department for Rural Development
photographer: Ms. Nadja Meister


Soil Alliance is growing

The European Land and Soil Alliance, ELSA e.V. with their headquarters in Osnabrueck is currently present in six European countries (UK, NL, D, CH, I, A), consisting of more than 100 members. During the annual meeting, the first Czech and the first Slovak municipality each entered the European Land and Soil Alliance. Antonin Okenka, Mayor of Nová Lhota, situated in the White Carpathians (CZ), and his counterpart Mr. Ján Tupy from Kočovce (SK) signed their membership documents in Tulln together with Mr. Christian Steiner, the Chairman of the Board of ELSA. The cooperation with their neighbouring countries will be supervised by the Department of Rural Development of the Lower Austrian Provincial Government within the framework of an EU project in cooperation with the Masaryk Museum in Hodonín (CZ). This will be based upon the experience gained in the coordination of the Lower Austrian soil conservation activities since 2003.



In the meantime, 64 members of the soil alliance, one model region of the soil alliance, and seven further associated partner organizations, making up more than half of all European member municipalities of the soil alliance are situated in Lower Austria! They cooperate in partnership and use the synergies of the network through exchange of information and experience.




Soil animated adventure the main square


Soil Field Day made the Main Square crowded with People

Parallel to the meeting, numerous activities took place at the main square, which were intended to convey the topic of soil to the population in a playful manner. A soil obstacle course served as an invitation to go barefoot on various grounds. Children were offered the opportunity to play soil boccia and soil memory. Creative persons found great pleasure in the soil colour painting station. At the bicycle saloon, there were bikes to be marveled at and to be tried.

A special attraction was waiting for football fans. The football cage, a small football field, 4 by 2 meters large, was presented, and immediately a football match between pupils at the occasion of the start of the first Lower Austrian Sustainability Cup was taking place.

Photos from the event
copyrights for photos: Department of Rural Development
photographer: Mr. Bernhard Kuderer, MSc



Day of excursion, May 7


The program of the meeting of the international Land and Soil Alliance was concluded with an excursion to Michelhausen (model project of the soil alliance, implementation in the municipality), as well as to the garden fair "Die Garten Tulln", and with the annual general meeting.

Photos from the excursion (second day)
copyrights for photos: Department for Rural Development