The European Soil Bureau (ESB) was created in 1996, as a network
of national soil science institutions, managed through a permanent Secretariat
located at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy. At the end
of 2000, the ESB was transferred from the Agriculture and Regional Information
Systems Unit (ARIS) of the Space Applications Institute (SAI) to the Soil
and Waste Unit of the Environment Institute (EI).
European Soil Bureau
Both institutes are located at the Ispra site of the JRC.
The main objective of the ESB is to provide harmonised
and coherent information on European Soils to both policy makers and users
of soil data. This addresses both the current status and the indicators
of future changes in soil quality. The geographic area covered by this
activity corresponds to the European Union, Candidate Member States and
other regions of interest to European Commission Policies.
Within this overall objective is the aim to establish a
European Soil Information System (EUSIS); a spatial database of available
soil data that is coherent and geo-referenced.
The Activities of the European
Soil Bureau are mainly undertaken by ad-hoc Working Groups, which are
created by the Scientific Committee in response
to the needs of the Advisory and Inter-DG committees (see "Policy
committees" area of this web). Of the two, the Advisory Committee
is the more active and important. The Working Groups are the mainstay
of the ESB and are the expression of the ESB Network.
The Overview pages carry a more
complete introduction to the European Soil Bureau and the Fifth Framework
Program project underwhich the ESB activities operate.