Awareness Raising > JRC Activities
What JRC is doing?
| (July 2010) School Material
Soil "goes" to schools and students. 30 Images designed by students aged from 8 to 14 during the JRC Open Day, 16 May 2009.
Soil everywhere is home to an abundance of various insects of all shapes and sizes, The daily activities of the average worm, Mole vs. Worm, Good soil means better plant life, Some different types of soil that worm is digging through, Who will survive the longest underneath the surface? Slugs are actually predators of earthworms, Worm attack, family of worms working their way through the soil.
Images offered for download in either JPEG or PDF format.
|Soil Atlas of Europe
The Soil Atlas of Europe is also available for download. Atlas pages are to be downloaded individually (128 pages in total), either in PDF format (higher quality) or JPEG format . There are 20 plates in the Atlas that cover 2 pages; these plates are offered as 2-page PDF files or a couple of JPEG’s.
The publication is intended for the general public, aiming to 'bridge the gap' between soil science and public knowledge. By addressing the non-specialized audience, the Atlas will increase public awareness and understanding of the diversity of soils and of the need to protect this precious resource.
More than 10,000 copies have been distributed since 2006.
|(Oct 2010) International Day for Biological Diversity (UNCBD-COP 9 Bonn 2008)
What lives below? The soil is alive!
A public awareness event organised by the European Commission on the occasion of World Biodiversity Day (22nd May 2008) at the Ninth Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
DG ENV has initiated a programme to highlight the importance of soil biodiversity as recognised by the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection. In early 2008, a request was made for the collaboration of the JRC SOIL Action to support an awareness raising event at the COP CBD. The SOIL Action has experience in a number of projects investigation soil biology, soil biodiversity and bio indicators.
Posters have been translated into French and Italian.
|Four summer schools on soil survey
JRC has organised 4 summer Schools in the period 2003-2006. In general, The Summer Schools were based on 3 days of classroom instruction and 2 days of field exercises. The major topics of the summer school are field soil characterization (landscape and profile description, site estimation of soil physical, chemical and biological properties), soil classification (the World Reference Base for Soils Resources -the official correlation system of IUSS) and the threats to soil functions as defined in the EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection. During the field exercises, different landscapes and soil profiles have been visited and described.
| (Dec 2011) Educational Posters
The Major Soil Types of Europe: Supporting the European Union’s Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection.
The Major Soil Types of Nothern Circumpolar Region: A contribution to the International Polar Year 2007-2009.
The Soil Map of Europe shown in the centre of this poster is derived from the 1:1,000,000 scale Soil Geographical Database of Eurasia. The database is the result of a collaborative project involving all the European Union Member States and neighbouring countries through participation in the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s European Soil Bureau Network (ESBN). The map shows a simplified representation of the diversity and geographical variability of the soil cover across Europe. The underlying database has been processed to extract the most dominant soil type for a particular unit of landscape. Each colour represents a specific type of soil (i.e. WRB Reference Group), examples of which are presented on this poster.
|Climate change: soil can make a difference!
Climate is a principle factor of soil development. Climate drives major soil-forming processes including transformation, accumulation and transport of substances that result in the diversity of soil types on the Earth. Soil is one of the key life support systems responsible for the performance of major ecological functions such as biomass production in agriculture and forestry, storing, fi ltering and transforming nutrients, substances and water, biodiversity (e.g. habitats, species and genes), physical and cultural environment for humans and human activities, source of raw materials, etc. The change of climate alters all processes in soil which may have serious consequences for the both environment and society. Therefore, climate-soil relationship is one of the priority topics in soil science.
This booklet presents an overview of the various activities which are being carried out by the Soil Action or to which the basic soil data were provided. In addition, new methods to verify the changes of the organic carbon and estimate the potentials of carbon change in the EU mineral soils are introduced. The overall goal of the document is to provide examples that clearly illustrate that soil is an important issue in climate change. Policies and strategies supporting the effective management of soil can really make a difference for the mitigation of climate change.
8,100 people visited the JRC research site in Ispra for this year's Open Day on Saturday, 16 May 2009. Over 70 of the JRC's wide range of activities were showcased at the event, with tours of over 50 laboratories as well as demonstration experiments 'in the field' and topical seminars with experts. Whether it was climate change or renewable energies, nanotechnologies or electronic passports, flood and fire prediction systems or food safety and quality tests, there was something for everyone and for all age groups.
This year's Open Day also marked the 50th anniversary of the JRC-Ispra site. European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik took time out of his weekend to participate in the various activities and present awards to the winners of the JRC's Italian schools competition, "Science and Creativity in the Classroom". Visitors once again acclaimed the Open Day as a success that truly mirrors European innovation and creativity.
|<|| Calendar 2012 :Latin America and Caribbean
This calendar and the related Soil Atlas of Latin America and the Caribbean are initiatives under the EUrocLIMA Programme, which aims to encourage cooperation between Latin America and the European Union on climate change issues
The main partners are the European Commission (Joint Research Centre and Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid Directorates-General), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and scientists from soil science institutions from Europe, South America and the Caribbean. The calendar aims to bring the soils of the region to the attention of everyone who deals with this critical non-renewable, natural resource that is vital for food and fibre production, a range of ecosystem services and sustainable development.
The environment of Latin American and Caribbean is enormously diverse, from deserts and seasonally dry regions in the west to the vast tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin, and from coastal lowlands with mangroves to the high mountain ranges and volcanoes of the Andes. Southern parts of the continent are covered by extensive grasslands. As a consequence, the range of soils is tremendously varied.
Soil names and terminology used in the calendar are those of the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (2006), a cooperative effort of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, ISRIC-World Soil Information and the International Union of Soil Sciences to arrive at a common language for describing soils.
Download the Calendar
|Calendar 2011 : Soil Biodiversity
This calendar and the related European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity is an initiative of the European Commission Joint Research Centre to bring the issue of soil biota to the attention of society as a whole.
To raise awareness of the general public, policy makers and other scientists of the global perspective and importance of soil biodiversity particularly, in the context of the UN’s International Year for Biodiversity, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (located in Ispra, Italy) has collaborated with soil scientists from all over Europe to produce the first ever European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity.
Soil organisms represent around a quarter of all biodiversity on Earth, yet are widely neglected in conservation efforts. Worldwide, only eight soil species are protected under CITES, the international rules on trade in endangered species: three scorpions, four tarantulas and one beetle. This is not because soil species are not endangered: it is simply because so little is known about them and because their habitat and functioning are complex. However, taking steps to protect them may be doubly useful as efforts to protect soil communities are very likely to help above ground habitats.
Download the Calendar
|Calendar 2010 : African Soil
This calendar and the related Soil Atlas of Africa is an initiative of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the African Soil Science Society and ISRIC – World Soil Information. The calendar aims to bring African soil to the attention of everyone who deals with this natural, non-renewable resource that is vital for food and fibre production and sustainable development of the environment.
The African environment is diverse, ranging from deserts and seasonally dry regions in the north and the south to tropical rainforests in west and central Africa; from coastal lowlands with mangroves in the west to high mountain ranges in the east. Large parts of Africa, especially in the south and the west consist of plateaus with soils that are millions of years old. Once degraded, soil resources are not renewed easily.
The soil names and terminology used in the calendar are those of the World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2006, a cooperative effort of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, ISRIC-World Soil Information and the International Union for Soil Sciences to arrive at a common language for describing soils.
This calendar highlights the diversity and richness of soil in Africa and may help the reader to understand better the characteristics and potential of various soil types in this part of the world.
Download the Calendar
|Calendar 2008 - Northern Circumpolar Soil. The Land Management and Natural Hazards Unit presents the Calendar for 2008. The International Polar Year is a scientific programme that is focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic from March 2007 to March 2009. Download each month or the whole calendar in format.|
|Calendar 2007 - Be down to earth: protect the soil of Europe. The Land Management and Natural Hazards Unit presents the Calendar for 2007 introducing the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB). Download each month or the whole calendar in format.|
Tools for Awareness and Education
These outreach tools are generally already developed at a local level but need to be consolidated to achieve a European wide awareness. The list below will be used in communication with national societies, networks and other soil scientists interested in education and outreach in each member state:
- School books
- Curriculum based information
- Classroom visits
- School science week activities (school, region and national activities)
- Powerpoint presentations
- Interactive white board activities
- Knowledge exchange programme (secondment between science and policy) (3-6 months)
- Ministerial shadowing (2 days)
- Briefing notes
- Workshop for DG delegates on soil education, provide a case study for each DG.
- Events – best practise guidelines - Dramatic message (positive influence of soils)
- Targeted media – Linked to industry/culture/national geographic
- Untargeted media (bigger message) – international press – Radio/television (euronews) – National societies
- Soil of the year – example from Germany
|Important legal notice
© European Communities, 1995-
| European Commission - Joint
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)