European Soil Observatory (EUSO)

Congratulations to the JRC (Joint Research Centre) of the European Commission for setting up and launching, on 4 December 2020, the European Soil Observatory (EUSO). There was need for a single tool capable of leading forces, energy, data and policies on the soil towards a common understanding. The date chosen is the World Soil Day. This was not the usual ritual celebration, rather it was a presentation of a clear vision and the illustration of the various stages that researchers, groups, farmers, politicians, civil servants and civil society must go through together.

The first step is to involve member states in order to increase exponentially the number of sites from which soil data are retrieved.

The new EU Soil Observatory will pool satellite data and field samples to create an overview of soil health across Europe. EUSO has fixed five objectives:

  1. EU-wide soil monitoring
  2. Strengthened soil data centre
  3. Monitoring of soil related policies
  4. Soil Research and Innovation
  5. Providing an open and inclusive European Soil Forum

The purpose of the EUSO is not to create yet another bureaucratic European entity. On the contrary, the purpose is to rationalize, use and complement actions and data that until now have been spread across different bodies. This will facilitate the exchange of synergies and above all the use of scientific data to respond to the policy and administrative needs in a context of mutual respect and attention. Let’s acknowledge that this is not easy, but it is necessary, especially now that policies with a direct impact on the soil are being developed in the context of the EU Green Deal.

The actions and experiences of the SIP Forum mean that it should be part of this journey, which began on 4 December.

A recording of the whole day’s proceedings can be found on the Observatory’s website

For further info, see: EUSO