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EU Soil Observatory - partnerships, networks, cooperation

The EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) will make optimal use of the many networks in which it is actively involved, and the many partnerships and collaboration initiatives that were established over the past 20 years.

These include:

European Soil Partnership

The European Soil Partnership (ESP) is a regional partnership of most European countries under the United Nations’ Global Soil Partnership (GSP).

Its aim is to provide added value from a European perspective to the many activities of the GSP in the areas of sustainable soil management, raising soil awareness, soil research and soil data collection and handling. The European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) holds the ESP Secretariat and leads the ESP Pillar-2 on Raising Soil Awareness.

European Joint Programme Soil

The European Joint Programme (EJP) SOIL is a co-fund on Agricultural Soil Management (80 Million Euro) that contributies to key societal challenges including climate change and food security.

The EUSO is part of the Advisory Group that supports and steers EJP SOIL's programme development.

European Network on Soil Awareness (ENSA)

In 2009, through the European Soil Bureau Network, the JRC established an action plan for the development of measures, programmes and initiatives to raise awareness of the importance of soil across European society (i.e. policy makers, public, universities, schools, industry, etc.).

Later, this action plan was then integrated within the umbrella of the European Network on Soil Awareness (ENSA).

The EUSO will remain the main supporter of the biannual ENSA meetings.

Since 2017, the ENSA meetings support the implementation of the European Soil Partnership (ESP) pillar 2, which targets soil awareness and education.


Since its inception in 2006, the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) has collaborated closely with the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its associated European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET) of National Reference Centres (NRC) for Soil.

ESDAC collaborated on soil related issues, notably on the maintenance of the EEA indicator “Progress in the management of Contaminated Sites in Europe”.

ESDAC also contributed scientific data and findings to various issues of the EEA’s "European Environment - State and Outlook Report".

Currently, the JRC leads an EIONET working group on Soil Monitoring for Europe, in line with ongoing work at the European Joint Programme (EJP) SOIL and LUCAS monitoring activities.

While the EUSO concentrates on soil, the EEA focusses on land, in a concerted way with the European Commission DG Environment.