These societal challenges are associated with the adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its effects, sustainable agricultural production, the provision of ecosystem services and the protection and restoration of damaged agricultural land.
The European EJP Soil programme was set up in early February 2020 for a period of 5 years, with the collaboration of 26 institutions from 24 countries in Europe. The main leaders are the INRAE (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment) in France, and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands. Wallonia is represented by the CRA-W, with the support of the SPW [Wallonia Public Service].
With the active commitment of stakeholders, the "EJP SOIL" project hopes to create a trans-European platform for interactions between researchers and those involved in soil management, helping to:
- Identify what expertise is needed and encourage the harmonisation of information on soils,
- Develop a strategic research programme (roadmap) for the sustainable, climate-smart management of agricultural soils,
- Develop knowledge sharing processes regarding best practice adapted to the needs of farmers, scientists and policy makers,
- Produce practical, evidence-based recommendations that promote uptake by those involved in the agricultural sector and thereby contribute to the formulation of policy.
The project also includes plans to identify obstacles and opportunities at regional, national and European level, in order to propose realistic scenarios for the future of agricultural land use, to be carried out in conjunction with the various stakeholders. This information will also help define the research topics to be tendered internally and externally.