SIEUSOIL will design, implement and test a shared China‐EU Web Observatory platform that will provide Open Linked Data to monitor status and threats of soil and assist in decision making for sustainable support of agro‐ ecosystem functions, in view of the projected climate change. The Observatory platform will through customizable modules support the wise management of soil at field level and will provide showcase of good practices on soil management both for EU and China. The final target will be to support sustainable management of soil, increase land productivity sustainably, reduce crop yield variability across time and space, and support the policy formulation process. Innovative practices and tools will be tested in SIEUSOIL and their impact will be assessed for improved soil fertility and land suitability.
Land degradation is considered as a major global environmental issue of this century. It is happening at an alarming pace, threatening food security and environmental quality. The effects of land and effectively soil degradation involve a complex interplay of environmental and socioeconomic–political factors acting at different spatial and temporal scales.
Land resources (i.e. soil, water, and biodiversity) are largely determined by our management practices, governance systems, and environmental changes. Unsustainable farming practices contribute not only to soil degradation at a local level, but also to increased carbon emissions, reduced biodiversity, and diminished rainfall on regional and global scales.
The problem in Europe…
Land degradation in Europe has increasingly been recognised as a serious environmental problem. Research has concluded that six major threats place soil fertility at risk, namely, soil erosion, loss of organic matter, soil biodiversity, soil compaction, soil salinity and soil pollution. These threats have adverse effects on soil functions and ecosystem services.
The problem in China…
China faces severe soil degradation, with over 40% of its land area being affected by erosion. With quick urbanization across the whole country, the total of arable land decreased. Intensive agriculture and high input of fertilizer and pesticides has resulted in land quality declining. Soil is widely degraded in China and this includes soil erosion, land impoverishment, soil salinization and soil acidification.