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From vision to action: our path to soil health investment

Climate change and global warming have far-reaching implications for our globe and society.

Human-caused global warming directly impacts the increase of extreme weather changes that harm agricultural systems, causing crop failures, food insecurity, and economic instability, endangering human health, worsening biodiversity loss, and disrupting the delicate balance of life on Earth.

One of the best approaches to address global change and environmental sustainability is through the enhancement of soil health. This critical component acts as a powerful carbon sink, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stabilizing global temperatures while providing essential nutrients for crop growth and reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers, as well as providing a variety of ecosystem services.

InBestSoil is a Horizon 2020 project that aims to provide a framework for investing in soil health. The project emerged from the need to address the degradation of more than half of Europe’s soils, costing an estimated €50 billion annually.

At InBestSoil, we believe that making soil health an operational concept is crucial to creating a sustainable future. Our goal is to develop an economic valuation system of the ecosystem services provided by healthy soil, as well as to assess the impacts of soil interventions and incorporate it into business models and incentives. We aim to encourage public and private organizations to invest in soil health and create products, services, and value chains that are less harmful to the soil. Our project brings together nineteen partners from ten countries to achieve a common goal, from universities to small and medium-sized enterprises, consultancies, farmers, and NGOs.

InBestSoil will provide data, evidence, tools, and models to assess how investment in soil health can contribute to the transition to a sustainable and long-term resilient use of soil. Nine study areas across four biogeographic regions from Europe (Boreal, Continental, Atlantic, Mediterranean), and different land uses (agriculture, forest, urban, mining), will be used as models for co-creation and co-design. This approach ensures the project’s results are relevant and applicable to various stakeholders and contexts. 

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