Newsletter December 2015

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SNOWMAN Newsletter, December 2015

As the closing events of the international yearyearofsoils of soils just took stock of the great mobilization and the numerous iniatives catalyzed this year, it is time to look back at the past 12 months within the SNOWMAN Network. With two successful meetings, the finalization of six projects and the preparation of five Policy briefs, 2015 was rich and marked by strong collaborative work both within and outside of the core network.

70 persons participated in the annual Knowledge Dissemination Meeting held in Paris on March, 25th and 26st. Gathering 13 research projects – 8 SNOWMAN projects and 5 from the European 7th Framework program – the meeting brought new insights for the management of soil contamination, issues related to urban soils and land-uses, a better understanding of soil functioning and ecosystem services as well as stakeholder engagement. Two starting Horizon 2020 projects also contributed to the meeting: the INSPIRATION coordination and support action, which is set to build the European soil, land-use and land management strategic research agenda and the BIODIVERSA ERA-Net, which shared its past and planned actions related to soil and land use. These presentations were followed by a high-level panel discussion on the priorities for European research related to soils in the coming years and the best ways to foster the scientific developments required for a sustainable soil use and management. All presentations and a synthesis of the panel discussion are available on the SNOWMAN network’s website.

On November 13th, SPW/DGARNE organized the first Exchange Meeting of the SNOWMAN network in Namur. New type of activity within the network, Exchange Meetings are meant to share and discuss the policy and management approaches as well as the knowledge developed within the national institutions of SNOWMAN members and their broader network. Ademe and Medde (France); Ovam, SPW/DGARNE, scientists from UC Louvain and Gembloux Agro Bio tech as well as representatives from Brussels environment’s IBGE (Belgium); SGI (Sweden); and the Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures (Luxembourg) shared their views and practices on diffuse pollution and urban soil quality for food production. The active discussions allowed for a thorough benchmarking of policies and decision support tools. A synthesis of national and regional approaches as well as the best practices identified during the meeting will be published in 2016.

The network steering group also worked on the development of Policy briefs synthesizing the most salient results of 11 SNOWMAN projects. Five Policy briefs will be published in English and in French in 2016 starting with “Agricultural soils : practices and transition pathways to improve ecosystem service provision” built on the knowledge developed in the ECOSOM, SUSTAIN, RAISOILCOMP and SAS-STRAT projects.

The SNOWMAN landscape was updated. Already referencing 130 national and european projects, the landscape is more than ready to collect information to publicize your projects.

Finally, Isabelle Feix (Ademe, France) was reappointed as Chair of the network for next year.

Stay tuned in 2016 for the SNOWMAN network’s publications and a Knowledge Dissemination Meeting planned in the last quarter.

Season’s greetings,

The SNOWMAN Network