CoP Spain

Launched on the 28th of September 2023, the Community of Practice (CoP) of the project LOESS in Catalonia (Spain) is led by the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) with the support of Just in Mind (JIM), company dedicated to the design of virtual and augmented reality. 

This CoP involves many and diverse stakeholders working on soil health in the region of Catalonia. Most of these agents are in the public sphere such as the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Government of Catalonia (DACC) and the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC). Numerous stakeholders integrating the CoP are affiliated to the Catalan Institution of Agrarian Studies (ICEA), an institution that closely collaborates with the Catalan Delegation of the Spanish Society of Soil Science (SECS) and the Spanish Association for the Teaching of Earth Sciences (AEPECT).  

The CoP also includes players of the knowledge system such as professors of almost all Catalan Public Universities and of the Agrarian Schools as well as scientists from several research institutes [the Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre (CREAF), the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) and the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA)] and from the technological centre BETA 

With regard to primary and education levels, the CoP counts on the participation of the Green Schools Network and the Network of Catalan Schools for Sustainability (XESC), coordinated by the DACC, and on the involvement of some teachers of sciences who are particularly aware of the importance of soil. Several of these teachers are members of the Centre for specific pedagogical resources in support of education innovation and research (CESIRE). 

Other important actors, taking part in the CoP, are non-governmental  organisations [for example, the Catalan Society for Environmental Education (SCEA), the Network for the Conservation of Nature (XCN) or Era Association], companies [like Anthesis Lavola, GeaOrgànica or Minuartia], relevant professional associations [geologists, environmentalists, agricultural and forestry engineers, etc.] and unions representing the primary sector [principally, Union of Farmers of Catalonia and Young Farmers and Cattle Breeders of Catalonia (JARC)]. 

A significant number of projects framed within the EU Mission A Soil Deal for Europe and participated by Catalan partners are represented in the CoP, for instance, CREDIBLE (CREAF), CURIOSOIL (Revolve), SOLO (Leitat), WASTE4SOIL (Leitat and IRTA), ECHO (QuantaLabs), NBSOIL (Revolve), EDAPHOS (Amphos21), BECHMARKS (Ersília Foundation), DELISOIL (BETA) and FENIX (Inveniam Group). 

Being Catalonia, and notably Barcelona, home of two international organisations that could be important for the project [the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute (EFI) and the PRIMA Foundation], the CoP will seek to explore possible ways of collaboration with them. Last but not least, links with the Organization Catalonia for Education, Science and Culture (CATESCO), which currently helps the Ministry of Education of the Government of Catalonia to promote learning for the Agenda 2030 and SDGs in the Catalan education centres, and the Pyrenean Alliance of Soils (ASPir) -one of the regional alliances in which the World Soil Association is subdivided- have already been created.  

Education Innovation Group

Six members of the LOESS CoP in Catalonia, will also participate in the project’s Education Innovation Group (EIG): Four of them are experts in soils -Jaume Boixadera (ICEA), Amparo Cortés (UB), Agnès Lladós (ICGC and SECS) and Núria Roca (UB)- and the other two are university lecturers in Didactics of Experimental Sciences –Víctor López (UAB) and Marta Gual (UdG)-.  

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