Boosting literacy on soil health across Europe: Live Kick-off meeting of the LOESS project
The 20 partners participating in the Horizon Europe project LOESS gathered in Bonn to kick-off the development and campaigning of educational offers and continuous training programmes addressing multiple actors, stakeholders and target groups connected to soil education. Communities of Practice, to be established in September, will ensure that educational gaps and needs will be addressed
Our soils are suffering from the limitation and mismanagement of soil resources, from soil degradation, drought, retention, erosion or sealing. A sustainable improvement of soil health can only be achieved by increasing soil literacy and raising people’s awareness on the vital importance of soil.
LOESS – Literacy boost through an Operational Educational Ecosystem of Societal actors on Soil health, a project funded under Horizon Europe in the EU Mission: ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’, brings together representatives from twenty partner organisations coming from 16 European countries. LOESS connects and engages with multiple actors in Communities of Practice (CoPs) to provide an overview of the current level of soil related knowledge in different educational levels. Pedagogical techniques will be co-created and tested across the EU and Associated Countries to encourage effective knowledge flows and discourse between educators and learners and between scientific, political, individual local and collective cultural knowledge systems. Hands-on activities related to soil education and Community Engaged Research and Learning will be promoted through focused campaigns and events and supported by capacity building, knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning.
On 12th and 13th of July in Bonn, Germany, representatives from LOESS’ twenty partner organisations met to align their visions on how to raise awareness on soil health and to update on project needs and next steps. It was unanimously emphasised that for making a significant impact on soil literacy across Europe the engagement of all relevant actors is needed. LOESS’ Communities of Practice therefore will be at the heart of all upcoming tasks and activities. The first meetings of CoPs in each country will be organised in September.
A guest contribution by Prof. Willi Xylander, from the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz, who shared insights on increasing awareness for soil biodiversity and protection by presenting the international touring exhibition ‘The Thin Skin of the Earth’.
This contribution emphasised the significance of collaborative efforts to safeguard our precious soil resources.
LOESS is a three-year project and runs between 1 June 2023 – 31 May 2026. The project is funded under Horizon Europe (Contract No. 101112707) and is co-ordinated by Wissenschaftsladen Bonn. It involves 20 partner organisations, including universities, a public research institute, NGOs, vocational education training centres, science engagement organisations and a digital tool company, each contributing different knowledge, skills and networks.
Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e. V. (WILA Bonn), Germany – Project coordinator
European Schoolnet (EUN), Belgium
Vetenskap & Allmänhet (VA), Sweden
University of Innsbruck (UIBK), Austria
University of Sassari (UNISS), Italy
Justinmind SL (JIM), Spain
Technological University Dublin (TUD), Ireland
University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava (UCM), Slovakia
Wageningen University (WU), Netherlands
Center for Promotion of Science (CPN), Serbia
Social Innovation Institute (SII), Lithuania
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (AMU), Poland
Controvento Società Cooperativa Sociale (ControV), Italy
Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), Spain
ANS Education and Consultancy Ltd (ANS), Turkey
University of Brescia (UNIBS), Italy
University of Vechta (UoV), Germany
APOPSI Information and Communication Technology, Consulting and Training Services S.A. (APOPSI), Greece
Corvinus University of Budapest (CUB), Hungary
The Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB), United Kingdom