EJP SOIL Objectives

The overall goal of the EJP SOIL is to build a sustainable European integrated research system on agricultural soils and develop and deploy a reference framework on climate-smart sustainable agricultural soil management. This will create an environment that will maximise the contribution of agricultural soil to key societal challenges such as food and water security, sustainable agricultural production, climate change adaptation and mitigation; ecosystem services delivery, biodiversity preservation and human health.

To do this, the programme will achieve the following objectives:  

At the societal level, the programme will:

  • Rise general public awareness and foster improved societal understanding of agricultural soil management and its contribution to sustainable agricultural production, climate change adaptation, mitigation, and all other ecosystem services delivery and environment protection, and more specifically of the large climate change mitigation potential via agricultural soil organic carbon sequestration

At the operational level, the programme will:

  • Strengthen the European research community on agricultural soil management, through an alignment and implementation of research, training and capacity building
  • Develop harmonized agricultural soil information systems and promote their adoption to contribute to international reporting and achieve global consistency and applicability of agricultural soil information, including on soil carbon and biodiversity

At the policy level, the programme will:

  • Develop evidence-based recommendations for policy makers at EU, national, and regional levels including options for farm level documentation of agricultural soil carbon sequestration from improved soil management practices
  • Establish a strategic multi-actor approach and initiate a science-policy-practitioner-society dialogue on agricultural soil health and adequate agricultural practices to support the adoption of the policy recommendations
  • Foster the uptake of climate-smart sustainable agricultural soil management practices by practitioners 

At the scientific level, the programme will:

  • Co-design and implement a 5-year roadmap for agricultural soil research that is supported by 24 Member States
  • Develop new insights on climate-smart agricultural soil management, quantify trade-offs and synergies between sustainable agricultural production, climate change adaptation and mitigation, soil degradation, biodiversity, soil quality and other ecosystem services such as erosion control, to build a reference framework for sustainable agricultural soil management
  • Develop new knowledge on carbon sequestration in agricultural soils under different conditions across Europe and its contribution to climate change mitigation. Improve accounting and reporting tools for emission and removals from agricultural activities
  • Provide scientific underpinning to support agricultural and climate policies at multiple scales (local to global)