Newsletter 69

1.EXPERIENCES: Re Soil Foundation

2.NEWS FROM THE SIP FORUM:

3.NEWS ON THE SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: Updated figures on land take

4.WE ARE NOT ALONE!

Re Soil Foundation

The academic and scientific worlds that deal with the soil are getting organized. Novamont, the Polytechnic of Turin and the University of Bologna have launched the Re Soil Foundation in order to promote scientific and technological research into a sustainable bioeconomy with the soil and the land at its heart.

Novamont is not widely known. It’s a research centre set up in 1990 within the Montedison group with the aim of developing chemical products with low environmental impact, using raw materials of agricultural origin such as maize, grain and potatoes. Their initial lines of research were biodiesel and bioplastics.

When Montedison was in crisis, Novamont was bought by the Banca Commerciale Italiana and private investors, including (since 2016) the oil and gas company ENI.

The Re Soil Foundation is the brainchild of Dr Catia Bastioli, who has been following the bioplastics sector for several years, following her recent nomination to the Mission Board on the soil of “Horizon Europe”, the European Commission’s new research and innovation framework. Continua a leggere “Re Soil Foundation”

GSE Programme for 2020

Thank you to everyone who took part and replied to the 12-point questionnaire which was online from 21 to 27 February.

This is the first time we have used this method and we can say that compared to the email debate it allows a better and more attentive level of participation. Its limitation is in the formulation of the questions, which in this case was rendered “easier” by the fact that it followed the path laid out by the SIP Forum’s General Meeting on 12 October 2019.

In future, we will need to create a team of GSE members to draw up the questions for the questionnaire.

The work of 13 volunteers who tested both the content and the online method was extremely helpful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them.

Here the result of the inquiry that resulted from the programme and we will provide a detailed analysis offered by the various responses in the next Newsletter.

GNDE (Civil Society) – GNE (European Commission): Vive la différence!

Attentive readers will have noticed that this section is no longer called the “European Dimension“. This is a change not just of name but of content. We think it is necessary to follow the debate around the Green Pact for Europe closely. As we have already noted, on one side is the European Commission’s GDE and on the other the GNDE coming from civil society.

Since we are not “neutral”, we prefer concrete suggestions, which is why we support the proposals of civil society – which are almost always ignored – since they are more concrete and less “improvised”. We believe, however, in a dialogue that is open and as constructive as possible and this is why we report on the proposals and actions of both sides.

We will then add a third section, containing concrete ideas that can lead to changes in behaviour, at both the individual, political and European levels.

We can start right away. Continua a leggere “GNDE (Civil Society) – GNE (European Commission): Vive la différence!”

Updated figures on land take

Land Take refers to the concept of the occupation and use of farmland for purposes other than farming or forestry, to build infrastructure, homes, industrial buildings and so on.

Land take occurs above all in peri-urban areas, where the demand for new infrastructure is high and soil quality, for historical reasons of human settlement, is good.

The most recent figures on the situation regarding land take in the EU were published by the European Enviornment Agency last December. They have been published on the Agency’s website and provide interactive information and data on land take in the 39 countries that are members of the Agency including the 28 (now 27) that belong to the EU.

In brief: Continua a leggere “Updated figures on land take”

ELASA in Finland and Estonia

Last May we had the pleasure of being invited to the ELASA meeting in Matera organized by the Italian group.

As the SIP Forum, we follow the work that these young landscape students do during their European meetings. So we asked for a short report on the ELASA meeting held last summer.

As it has every year since 1990, ELASA (European Landscape Architecture Student Association) organized an annual meeting and a mini meeting in which students from all over Europe had the opportunity to work together and exchange ideas.

The ELASA  2019 annual meetingdi was held in Estonia and Finland, from 6 to 17 August. Around 40 students from 15 European countries took part, including three from Italy.

2019 was a year of firsts, not for Estonia which was hosting for the third time (the first was in 2000, the second in 2007), but for Finland (and also for Italy, which hosted the mini meeting in the spring), hosting for the first time since the association’s foundation. It is important to remember that this association, as well as the annual meetings, owes its existence entirely to the enthusiasm and commitment of the students who belong to it, who manage and organize everything themselves.

 The meeting was titled “Finest Landscapes”: a play on words (‘finest’ consists of the first syllables of the names of the host nations FINland and ESTonia); the meeting was designed to trace the threads that hold together the fabric of the landscape, using the tools and the knowledge that every landscape architecture  should know, as well as an invitation to look beyond appearances into the depths of the forest of contrasts, patterns, cultures, to discover the highest qualities of the landscape and those who work with it.

Turning to the various events that were organized during the meeting, many workshops were held and many places visited. Estonia is one of the greenest countries in Europe, with around 50% forest cover, and it proved to be the perfect destination for hikes and explorations of the wildlife, much of which is extinct in most European countries. Tallin, Tartu, Kreenholm, and Narva were the cities that hosted the meeting and the students had the opportunity to apply their knowledge in some very interesting projects, including a workshop to produce ideas and solutions for Tartu’s candidacy as Capital of culture in 2024 (a contest which it has won).

Many locations in Finland were also visited; while the untouched forest landscapes are in some ways very similar to those of Estonia, the Finnish landscapes offer something extra, which is water: indeed around 10% of its surface is covered by lakes.

Further information from: daniele-stefano@hotmail.it

Money: not much, but now

When those working for voluntary associations get together and talk about our financial situation, we often refer to the saying: “Please don’t make jokes on my account, put some money into it instead.

The phrase came to our minds when we saw the programme for the meeting that will be held on 30 March 2020 at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington. Organized by the WB itself along with CGIAR, CCAFS, The Nature Conservancy and above all the 4 per 1000 Initiative, the conference has a challenging title: “Enhancing investment in soil health and carbon storage: Frontiers for linking finance and carbon accounting“. Continua a leggere “Money: not much, but now”