From May 9-20, 2022, the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) took place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Nearly 7,000 participants attended the gathering included delegations from 196 countries.
As of June 1, the special professor at Wageningen University in Pedometrics and Digital Soil Mapping was renewed for five more years. The position, held by Gerard Heuvelink (pictured above), is funded by ISRIC – World Soil Information and positioned within the Soil Geography and Landscape Group at the university.
ISRIC – World Soil Information is seeking experts who can assist with the soil sampling and site description for 2 countries in Europe. This work is part of the Horizon 2020 InnoVar project, next-generation plant variety testing for improved cropping on European farmland. InnoVar is a cooperation between 21 partners led by the Agrifood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) from Belfast.
Eating soil is an old and established culturally important practice in many places around the world. In many countries the action of eating earth and soil-like substances (geophagy) is a means of spiritual cleansing amongst other benefits (cf. Pan de Dios in Guatemala). There are even restaurants that serve soil as food, such as in Japan. The practice of eating earth and soil-like substances is also promoted by influencers. Will soil consumption become more widely accepted or even develop into a ‘superfood’ practice? What would be the implications of this?
In a recent issue of the journal Agriculture for Development, ISRIC – World Soil Information guest researcher David G. Rossiter published the article “Soil mapping today: computer-generated predictive soil maps – their role in soil survey and land evaluation.”
SoilGrids is ISRIC – World Soil Information’s flagship system for global digital soil mapping. Every year, thousands of people access these open-access maps and download them for their own use and we want to know: how is SoilGrids working for you?