The United Nations declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils, recognizing the importance of soil quality for promoting food security, sustainable agricultural development and essential ecosystem functions. FACCE-JPI also acknowledges the significance of soil quality in its Strategic Research Agenda and Implementation Plan for 2014-2015. One of the Implementation Plan’s actions for 2015 was the launch of a Thematic Annual Programming Network on Improving Agricultural Soil Quality (TAP) - an initiative led by France with the support of The Netherlands and Spain.
On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 the Wageningen Soil Conference hosted the FACCE-JPI Thematic Annual Programming Newtork on Improving Agricultural Soil Quality Workshop. This informal event provided interested FACCE-JPI Member States and Associated Countries the opportunity to discuss how a TAP network could operate, which scope it could have and how it could best link up and add value to existing European and global soil-related initiatives.
You can read and download the final report of this workshop here.
Focus on carbon sequestration
During the November FACCE-JPI Governing Board meeting the results of the August workshop have been presented and the GB formally decided to continue with the TAP. Assessing the results from the workshop, the FACCE Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) has been discussing a scope for the TAP, taking all the recommendations and precautions into consideration.
Combining the GB meeting discussions on the TAP, the SAB elaborations, and the upcoming 2016-2018 Implementation Plan actions (in progress), the following proposed scope for the network emerged: Soil functionality under climate change with a focus on carbon (C) sequestration.
This scope brings together several main elements derived from the workshop, provides possibilities to align with ongoing international initiatives such as the 4‰ initiative, and falls well within the FACCE remit without (unnecessary) overlapping with other actions.