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IUSS Alert 199 (January 2022)

IUSS Alert 199 (January 2022)


Download the IUSS Soilutions Calender (59MB)



IUSS Stimulus Fund – first call for submissions 2022

IUSS has established an annual Stimulus Fund to support suitable activities within its Commissions and Working Groups. Where appropriate, the Fund will also support other activities to assist the development of soil science generally but particularly in regions of the world where lack of resources limit opportunities. Applications should be sent to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at. The initial application process requires a short written proposal of no more than 500 words plus a budget indicating how the funds awarded are to be spent. The normal maximum award will be USD 2,500.

Deadline for submissions: 15 March 2022

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=594



Update on organization of 22nd WCSS in 2022

A total of 1958 abstracts were submitted, of which 12 were rejected, 8 with conflicts that could be resolved. 397 were accepted for oral presentations, 498 as posters. 756 orals were transferred to posters and 11 abstracts submitted as poster were transferred to oral. The Vice President Congress thanks the reviewers for doing a great job.

Space is being reviewed as some of the conveners have asked for additional space. The exhibition space is filling up and the organizers expect a vibrant congress.

Expressions of interest for both soil judging and conference tours

Bearing in mind the current Covid situation and being confident that the Congress will take place as originally planned, the British Soil Science Society as the organizers would very much appreciate expressions of interest for both the soil judging contests as well as the pre- and post conference tours to allow further planning. Please send your expressions of interest to wcss2022@soils.org.uk as soon as possible but latest by the end of March 2022.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/world-soil-congress/



2022 Guy Smith Medal Award – Invitation to propose nominees

The IUSS Guy Smith Medal Award Committee is pleased to invite you to propose nominees for the forthcoming Guy Smith Medal award. The next award will be handed over during the Glasgow 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (https://22wcss.org/), to be organized from the 31st of July to the 5th of August, 2022 by the British Society of Soil Science. 

Criteria for selection:

The nominee should have the following qualifications:

  1. She/he must have made a significant scientific contribution that has advanced the field of soil classification, and
  2. Be a published author in the field of soil classification; and
  3. Be an active member, Honorary member, or formerly active member of a national or international soil science professional society, and
  4. The medal is not invested posthumously, and
  5. Present officers of IUSS Commission IUSS cannot be nominated.

The proposal for nomination should comprise a short text, including the main steps of the scientific career of the nominee, her/his most relevant scientific publications and major contribution to the development of soil classification. 

For more information, please refer to the web-link of the IUSS Commission 1.4 (Soil Classification): 

We look forward to receiving your proposals by February 26th 2022 by e-mail.

CVs of the nominees and a motivation letter should be sent to: Jozef (Seppe) Deckers (seppe.deckers@kuleuven.be)  with copy to Maria Gerasimova (maria.i.gerasimova@gmail.com) and to Lucia Anjos (lanjos@ufrrj.br)

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/awards-prizes/guy-smith-medal/



Paleopedology Newsletter December 2021

The December 2021 issue of the Paleopedology Newsletter, which is a joint initiative of the IUSS Commission 1.6–Paleopedology and INQUA Palaeopedology Working Group, is now available on the IUSS website.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/newsroom/newsletters/paleopedology-newsletters-commission-16/



News from national soil science societies

Malaysian Society of Soil Science

The Malaysian Society of Soil Science (MSSS) in collaboration with Institute of Biological Sciences (ISB), Universiti Malaya (UM) will organize the 15th International Conference of the East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies (ESAFS 2022) to be held in, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on August 22-26, 2022. The theme of the conference is ‘Our Soils Our Future’. Closing date for abstract submission: 28th April 2022 esafs2022@gmail.com

Read more: https://web.facebook.com/esafs2022



News from the Latin American Soil Science Society (SLCS)

General Soil Law approved unanimously in the Senate of the Republic of Chile

On January 12 of this year, after two years of work led by the Chilean Soil Science Society in conjunction with academics from Chilean universities, colleges of geographers and geologists and NGOs, the General Soil Law was approved unanimously in the Senate of the Republic of Chile.

IUSS congratulates the Chilean Soil Science Society for this great achievement.



Georges Stoops (1937 – 2022)

It is with deep sadness that we inform that Georges Stoops, Professor Emeritus at Ghent University, passed away on January 20th, in Malaga (Spain). Georges Stoops was born on August 12th, in 1937 in Antwerp (Belgium). He studied Earth Sciences (Geology) at the Ghent University, where he also got his PhD degree in 1966. In 1962 he participated in the geopedological mission to the Galápagos Islands organized by the Ghent University. From 1962 to 1967 he worked at the Lovanium University (now University of Kinshasa, DR Congo) as assistant and lecturer. He became Full Professor at the Ghent University in 1987 and Emeritus Professor in 2002. Georges Stoops contributed substantially to the understanding of the genesis of arid and tropical soils, and to the development of concepts and terminology for the description of soil thin sections. His outstanding research activities in an international context, contributed considerably to the development of soil micromorphology, while his enthusiastic teaching in Ghent and elsewhere promoted the use of soil micromorphology worldwide. He was awarded the Dokuchaev medal of the All Union of Soviet Soil Scientists of the Academy of Science (1985), the Kubiëna Medal of the International Soil Science Society (1992) and the Philippe Duchaufour Medal of the European Geosciences Union (2010). Georges Stoops was a very social person with an enormous sense of humanity, always willing to share his knowledge. He belonged to the generation of great soil micromorphologists that placed this discipline on the frontline of soil science. His death is a tremendous loss for the soil pedogenesis and soil micromorphology community and for soil science in general.

Read more: Link to full obituary on IUSS website

Based on texts from Rosa M. Poch, Spain and Eric Van Ranst, Belgium



General News

Soil erosion by water (update for 2016)

An update of the 2010 soil erosion indicator took place for the year 2016 with new inputs from Farm Field Survey, LUCAS and CORINE Land Cover. Compared to the assessment for 2010, we estimate a very small decrease of soil loss by water erosion (<1%) due to a limited increase of applied soil conservation practices and land cover change observed at the EU level. The modelling results suggest that, currently, ca. 25% of the EU land has erosion rates higher than the recommended sustainable threshold (2 t ha−1 yr−1 ) and more than 6% of agricultural lands suffer from severe erosion (11 t ha−1 yr−1 ). The results are documented with relevant publication.

Access these new data (as a raster file): https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/soil-erosion-water-rusle2015

[From ESDAC Newsletter No 137 (January 2022)]



Update of Cover Management (C-factor) for year 2016

The elaboration of the EU Farm Structure Survey data for 2016 and CORINE Land Cover2012 in the GIS-based LANDUM model allowed to update the knowledge about the most recent changes in land use and arable land management. Using the data on tillage, plant residues and cover crops, we updated the Cover-management (C-factor) in EU for 2016. The increase of land under soil conservation practices and the land cover change have contributed to decreasing the mean C-factor by –0.8%.

Read more: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/cover-management-factor-c-factor-eu [From ESDAC Newsletter No 137 (January 2022)] 

[From ESDAC Newsletter No 137 (January 2022)]



Soil, a burst of life: the hidden world beneath our feet

The JRC Soil Team developed a new online course on soil biodiversity, available on the EU academy platform. It aims at raising awareness and increasing knowledge of the secret life beneath our feet. It also allows you to familiarise with European Union initiatives for soil (biodiversity) protection. The target audience is science teachers, high school students and the general public.

Read more: https://academy.europa.eu/courses/soil-a-burst-of-life-the-hidden-world-beneath-our-feet

[From ESDAC Newsletter No 137 (January 2022)]



Have we overlooked the importance of soil micronutrients for global grassland biomass production?

Grasslands are one of the largest terrestrial systems, occupying about 40% of the global land surface. Given that they account for up to one-third of the net primary productivity on land, they play an important role in global carbon sequestration as well as in the provision of multiple other ecosystem services to human society, including biodiversity, fodder production and nutrient cycling. Biomass production is a key property of grasslands that determines their capacity to take up and store carbon, controls which plant species can co-exist and influences the diversity of numerous animals that depend on plants for food and habitat.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/blog-beneath-our-feet/2022/1/3/have-we-overlooked-the-importance-of-soil-micronutrients-for-global-grassland-biomass-production

[From GSBI Newsletter – January 2022]



Communication Campaign: World Soil Day | 5 December 2021

The celebration of World Soil Day 2021 ‘Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity‘ received very solid media attention throughout the week, reaching 1.2 billion people around the globe. FAO Director-General’s words – on how soil is the foundation of agriculture and how the world’s farmers depend on it to produce about 95 per cent of the food we eat – opened up the FAO official celebrations that were attended by over 2 000 people from 182 countries. Ten FAO Regional, Sub-regional, Liaison and Country offices organized official celebrations on 5 December while over 650 worldwide events have so far been registered on the interactive map. Over 330 million people discussed, debated and advocated the importance of healthy soils for a healthy life on Twitter using the official hashtag of the campaign #WorldSoilDay.  Don’t forget to send photos of your event by filling out this form! Contact us at World-Soil-Day@fao.org 

Read more: https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/en/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 34, 22 December 2021]



Workshop on Global Soil Governance

One of the core mandates of the FAO’s GSP is to improve soil governance at all levels, providing support for countries in strengthening normative and regulatory frameworks with an impact on soil management. As such, GSP organized the webinar “Global soil governance: Status and future perspectives” within the framework of the EUROSOIL 2021 conference, which took place on 25th August 2021 in a virtual format. The report and the recordings of the meeting have  just been published! 

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1459432/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 34, 22 December 2021]



NETSOB – The Global Soil Biodiversity Network

The International Network on Soil Biodiversity (NETSOB) was successfully launched and established on the 3 December with over 800 participants. All co-organizers and participants committed to start implementing the recommendations of the GSOBI21 Outcome document. Over 670 scientists, researchers, international organizations, institutions, decision makers and farmers with expertise in the assessment, mapping, monitoring and sustainable use of soil biodiversity have enrolled in the network and will start carrying out the scheduled activities from January 2022. 

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1457777/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 34, 22 December 2021]



ISC Activity and Achievement Report (2018 – 2021) published

During the 2nd ISC General Assembly, the ISC President and CEO presented a report of ISC activities and achievements during the first three years of operation of the Council. The report is now published and shows to which extent the ISC and its Members are succeeding in pursuing our mission to advance science as a global public good. Thanks to all our Members for contributing to the ISC’s successful first three-year term.

Read more: https://council.science/publications/activity-achievement-report-2018-2021/

[From ISC Update on January 6, 2022]



Recarbonizing global soils – A technical manual of recommended management practices

During the last decades, soil organic carbon (SOC) attracted the attention of a much wider array of specialists beyond agriculture and soil science, as it has proven to be one of the most cost-effective nature-based solutions to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change. Soils are the largest terrestrial carbon pool and this soil component is one of the key factors in soil health and therefore contributes to achieving several Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 15, “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”, with SOC stocks explicitly cited in Indicator 15.3.1.

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/areas-of-work/soil-organic-carbon-manual/en/



The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative

Seeking to promote expert knowledge on soil biodiversity in environmental policy and sustainable land management to protect and enhance ecosystem services

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/?fbclid=IwAR2GF4hH_Gpx218enMKGlXnVFgBHl65HBEcwEffj1-DHfrVQxOvBMszaKIg



Soil, a burst of life: the hidden world beneath our feet

Soil is home to a quarter of the species on our planet. As they live hidden in the soil, these organisms are too often overlooked. Nonetheless, they support us in many ways, from food production and climate regulation to medicine discovery. Therefore, they deserve much more attention than they get.

Soil biodiversity is extremely variegated. It encompasses microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, as well as “big” animals like earthworms and moles. In between there is a huge variety of organisms, ranging from nematodes, the most abundant animals on Earth, to the colorful springtails.  This course aims at raising awareness and increasing knowledge of the secret life beneath our feet, taking the public on a fascinating journey of discovery. It also allows you to familiarise with European Union initiatives for soil (biodiversity) protection.

Read more: https://academy.europa.eu/courses/soil-a-burst-of-life-the-hidden-world-beneath-our-feet?fbclid=IwAR2ACAsWpUe2cozqyBxEd5B8_z78sTP_pQzUvNzKV7BCeY-lex-CgTy6UYY



Soil and land use factors control organic carbon status and accumulation in agricultural soils of Lower Austria

Policies for restoring soil health and mitigating climate change require information on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and their spatial and temporal variation, and related sequestration potentials. Using the province of Lower Austria as environmentally diverse model region, the authors present a detailed analysis of SOC stocks, saturation potentials and deficits along with SOC monitoring data for the past three decades.

Read more: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706121006753



Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

Due to the Corona pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions many of the events planned for 2020 and 2021 had to be cancelled or postponed. For a current list of upcoming events, please consult the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/

Zoom into Soil: Soils in Scotland

2 February

Online, 12.00 to 1.00 pm GMT

BSSS (British Society of Soil Science) run a series of online webinars called ‘Zoom into Soil’, they usually discuss various topics in soil science with relevant scientists and practitioners. The next webinar in the series, 2 February, is going to be on the topic of ‘Soils in Scotland’ and is being targeted at an international audience as something of an introduction to UK soils of interest. It has been tailored in this way as it forms part of the sponsorship package for VisitBritain for the World Congress of Soil Science, they are particularly interested in encouraging international audiences. There will be a second in this webinar series in March.

Webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4094796126226077199

Previous Webinars: Videos – British Society of Soil Science



EGU General Assembly 2022

23–27 May 2022

Vienna, Austria, hybrid meeting

Conference website: https://www.egu22.eu/



International seminar Soil and water conservation under changing climate in Northern and high-altitude conditions

Wednesday, 4 May 2022 to Friday, 6 May 2022

Ås, Norway

Deadline of abstract submission: 31 January 2022

The objective of the seminar is to bring new knowledge on soil and water conservation under changing climate in Northern or high- altitude conditions (cold climate). Climate change is expected to bring changes in precipitation, rainfall, frozen soils, snowmelt conditions, drought periods and extreme weather that will affect runoff and hydrological pathways in the agricultural landscape. Also, soil functions and soil health will face new challenges. These changes will influence losses of nutrients and erosion processes- and put pressures on the need of efficient measures. Best farming and management practices must be revised and developed to expected changes in climate. The seminar will also address monitoring, modelling and development of planning tools for analysing effects and planning for adaptation measures.

Second announcement: media/second_announcement_soil_and_water_conservation.pdf

Read more: https://nibio.pameldingssystem.no/soil-and-water



Intersol 2022 – The Soil in all its States

21-23 June 2022

Lyon, France

Topics: Ecological engineering and biodiversity; Health, environmental and socio-economic issues and risks; What treatments for what uses? Digital soil monitoring and management; Soils and climatic issues.

Call for papers deadline: February 28, 2022

Conference website: https://www.webs-event.com/en/event/intersol/accueil/



Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition

26 – 29 July 2022

Virtual meeting

The Symposium will address the role of soil fertility in delivering sufficient, high quality, safe, and nutritious food for better-nourished plants, animals, and people. Its specific objectives will be: (1) to examine the current scientific, technical and traditional knowledge on soil fertility management; (2) to present innovative, and effective technologies and practices that promote sustainable food production; (3) to identify policies that maintain and improve soil fertility and nutrition; and (4) to encourage the adoption of good practices that facilitate sustainable intensification of food production systems and maintain food security while addressing the goals of the Global Climate Agenda.

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/areas-of-work/soil-fertility/en/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 34, 22 December 2021]



For the complete list of upcoming events, please see the event calendar on the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/



New publications

Advances in Conservation Agriculture. Volume 3 – Adoption and Spread

Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing are delighted to share news of their forthcoming title, Advances in Conservation Agriculture – Volume 3: Adoption and Spread, edited by Professor Amir Kassam, University of Reading, UK and Moderator, Global Conservation Agriculture Community of Practice (CA-CoP), FAO, Rome, Italy. 400 pages, Print ISBN: 978-1-78676-475-1, eBook ISBN: 978-1-78676-478-2, Price £150/$195/€180.

The book provides an authoritative review from an array of international experts on the adoption of CA principles in different regions around the world.

The final volume in this collection reviews the effectiveness of CA in differing contexts (e.g. in drier conditions where water conservation is important or in areas with poor soil) and refers to the wealth of research and experiential evidence currently available.

*Special Offer*

Receive 20% off your pre-order of the book using code ECAF20 via the BDS Website. Please note that this code is also applicable to Volume 1 and 2. Discount code expires 1st March 2022.

Read more: https://shop.bdspublishing.com/store/bds/detail/workgroup/3-190-106341



Conservation Agriculture in Africa – Climate Smart Agricultural Development

Edited by Saidi Mkomwa and Amir Kassam, January 2022 | Hardback | 536 Pages | 9781789245745; ePDF 9781789245752 | ePub 9781789245769, price hardback £175.00 | €210.00 | $245.00.

Tillage agriculture has led to widespread soil and ecosystem degradation globally, and more particularly in the developing regions. This is especially so in Africa where traditional agricultural practices have become unsustainable due to severe exploitation of natural resources with negative impacts on the environment and food system.

Conservation Agriculture has emerged as a major alternative sustainable climate smart agriculture approach in Africa and has spread to many African countries in the past decade as more development and research, including in sustainable mechanization, has enabled its extension and uptake. It is key to transforming Africa’s agriculture and food system given its ability to restore soil health, biodiversity and productivity of millions of smallholder farms as well as larger-scale farms.

This landmark volume is based on the material presented at the Second Africa Congress on Conservation Agriculture which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, 9-12 October 2018. The main theme of the Congress was ‘Making Climate Smart Agriculture Real in Africa with Conservation Agriculture: Supporting the Malabo Declaration and Agenda 2063’.

This book is aimed at all agricultural stakeholders in the public, private and civil sectors in Africa engaged in supporting the transformation of conventional tillage agriculture to Conservation Agriculture.

Read more: https://www.cabi.org/bookshop/book/9781789245745/



Job offers

If you are interested in working in soil sciences and related fields of expertise, please see current job offers at: https://www.iuss.org/jobs/




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