Why a Soil’s Angel Newsletter? In 1966, Florence was completely flooded. From all part of the world, thousands of people –mainly young – joined their forces to save the cultural and historic heritage deeply affected by the water. They were called “mud’s angels”. What motivated those people? Surely solidarity but also the acknowledgement that the future of the World Heritage was in danger. We need to have the same will and the same strong effort to save the soil for next generations!We need Soil’s Angels in all Europe able to use their energies to preserve soil, land and landscape.

The Soil’s Angels Newsletter is a tool to create synergies among all people with only one aim: to save the world heritage that has as a name Soil.



1.EXPERIENCES: Biodiversity? Did you say biodiversity?


3.NEWS ON SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: March for Europe in Rome – Our Europe


English · esperienze in Italia

Biodiversity? Did you say biodiversity?

We are looking at a shameful manipulation of reality. More and more architects and engineers are making the effort to create areas containing traces of eco-friendliness. Milan now has the vertical wood in the Porta Garibaldi area. Other buildings (banks, public and private offices, …) contain trees, plants, shrubbery. But what about soil? It appears to be no longer necessary: all one needs nowadays is substrata, to which add water and nutritional elements. Those in charge will monitor plant growth and their development. As a result, two questions may arise: 1. Why all this? And 2. How much will it cost? Answers to these questions evoke safeguarding biodiversity alias plant, insect and animal biodiversity protection and net improvement of air quality. Costs are high and afforded by … those that have money! We are not sure that those plants, especially those in a closed building, help in protecting biodiversity and clean air. In the end, it is clear that normal people without high revenues cannot afford it.

We would therefore like to tell you about an initiative, which is also a challenge in itself:

“Biodiversity: a way to cultivate it home, every day”. Continua a leggere “Biodiversity? Did you say biodiversity?”

English · Forum SIP

2017 Activity Programme for the Soil Europe Group (SEG)

The online Soil Europe Group (SEG) Assembly took place from 20 to 25 February and defined its new work programme in terms of activities and initiatives. A hardworking and ambitious journey to begin in both the mid and the long term.

The programme includes: initiatives in Italy; activities in Europe; a new organisation of SEG.

Italy: formal recognition of the SEG 2017 Activity Programme by the Coordination Group of SIP Forum, followed by the implementation of activities related to information, education, debates, partnerships, dialogue and participation.

Europe: there are three main aims: i) enlarge participation; ii) create and increase relations with civil society organisations not directly related to soil; iii) increase dialogue with other people concerned with soil.

A new SEG organisation: based around the Assembly participants’ availability.


Signatures for the ECI still on.

Calls, public demonstrations and signature gathering is still going on. ‘Soil’ is a theme that many people still struggle to understand. It is too specific, the target too broad and clashing interests too many. This explains the difficulty in the signature collection but, at the same time, it requires each one of us to double own efforts in spreading and defending the objectives of this campaign.

The communication tools used by ECI organisers are mainly through social networks. Information on events or recent news are on Facebook and Twitter. There you can find Carlo Petrini’s recommendations (1′ video in Italian), and reasons why soil is at risk (1’ 40’’ video in English). It is now up to us to take initiative to raise awareness, inform and collect signatures.


English · istituzioni europee

March for Europe in Rome – Our Europe

In previous newsletter editions, we mentioned the fitofori march for Trees and the European Avenue Day in Europe. It seems that European citizens are destined to take to streets and to march to attract people as well as decision makers’ attention. An important and urgent “walk” will take place in Rome the 25 March, in the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty.

There isn’t much to celebrate! Europe is the unique area without wars following WW2, but the founding aims and values of the European Union have – slowly and inexorably – been questioned again. Peace is no longer considered an undeniable value upon which to build our communities either. Politicians no longer refer to the Mauthausen oath done by the survivors of the massacre. We are dangerously slipping back into nationalisms and entrenchments, which are fuelling xenophobia and racism. In this mourned context, imagine how difficult it is to worry about environmental policy, now stuck in the most hidden of nooks, unseen by the institutions. Continua a leggere “March for Europe in Rome – Our Europe”

English · non siamo soli!

Other European states’ experiences: Soil scientists are often disregarded “Cassandras”

Our newsletter purposely avoids scientific topics related to soil, because we would especially like to address so-called “non-experts”. At the same time, these last understand how important soil, territory and landscape are for our future and for future generations. Thus, they believe it is no longer time to stay back but rather act on it.

This does not mean that our “intellectual humus” comes from the constant yet silent work from a large number of soil researchers. Some readers have sent us information on ongoing or recently terminated research suggesting more awareness raising on them via our newsletter. We would therefore like to mention briefly two European research projects and the article entitled Climate-smart soils, from the Nature edition of 7 April 2016

SmartSoil Project

The growing lack of organic matter such as carbon is among the most alarming problems affecting soil. People all over the world are looking for solutions bearing in mind that fertilizers and pesticides will not be able to escape the demands of agricultural production. Continua a leggere “Other European states’ experiences: Soil scientists are often disregarded “Cassandras””

English · non siamo soli!

Video to understand the 4×1000 Initiative

In a simple and didactic manner, the 3’30” video explains the problem of organic matter formation and accumulation in soil and its importance for climate change. It also summarizes practices which lead to a yearly 0.4% increase (hence 4 per 1000) of carbon within soil, and – even more important – the length of time it can stay as such.

The video is now available in French and in English.