ISRIC at the 2024 ESA Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Restoration

Share on: 21 Mar 2024

The European Union Soil Strategy for 2030 has established a framework and concrete measures to protect and restore soils, ensuring they are used sustainably. It has set a goal to achieve healthy soils by 2050, with concrete actions by 2030. An EU Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience to anchor these goals in regulations is in negotiation.

In March of this year, the European Space Agency (ESA) organised a Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Restoration in Frascati, Italy. A follow up of the ESA World Soils User Consultation Meeting in 2019.

The symposium aimed to explore the usability of Earth Observation technologies for soil protection and restauration, evaluate the WORLDSOILS Soil Organic Carbon Monitoring System for SOC prediction, gather requirements of EO-based soil monitoring systems, and examine options for sustained operations and business models. It also aimed to identify ways for a downstream service to support national and European agencies in reporting on soil health/quality and demonstrate the capacity of satellite remote sensing, alone or combined, for monitoring, validating, reporting, or verifying other specific soil components.

ISRIC-World Soil Information participated in the symposium, represented by two of its experts:

  • Laura Poggio, Senior Digital Soil Mapping and Remote Sensing Expert, presented on the topics "The WORLDSOILS SOC on the WEB GUI demonstration" and "SOC prediction algorithms for vegetated areas" for the WorldSoils project. She also co-presented “CUP4SOIL high-resolution products presentation and data access” for the CUP4SOIL project together with Uta Heiden (DLR).
  • Fenny van Egmond, Soil Sensing and Soil Information Specialist, presented on the topic "User requirements for a Copernicus Land Monitoring Service for soils (CUP4SOIL project)" and "BENCHMARKS: Building a European Network for the Characterisation and Harmonisation of Monitoring Approaches for Research and Knowledge on Soils" for the BENCHMARKS project.

The symposium provided a very useful and interesting opportunity for networking and learning about developments on the topic of soil imaging spectroscopy, the possibilities for Earth Observation for soil sensing and the current and future user needs, as well as feedback to ISRIC’s current products (SoilGrids) and collaborative efforts (WorldSoils and CUP4SOIL).

Learn more about the ESA Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Restoration here: