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SNOWMAN is thè European network for Sustainable Management of Soil and Groundwater. Our partners are funders of (applied) soil research and we facilitate the use of soil knowledge in practice. In June 2009 the transition was made from an EU-funded ERAnet to member-based and self-funded network organization. During the first six years of SNOWMAN’s existence nine major projects were started with almost two million euro’s SNOWMAN funding. Six more projects will start soon in the third call with a SNOWMAN contribution of another two million euro’s and a fourth call is in preparation. We can thus say the transition has been highly successful!

SNOWMAN continues to develop and share soil knowledge to enable development of soil policies and practices towards sustainable use of the (sub)soil. First of all this enables the increasingly efficient remediation and management of (historically) contaminated soils in Europe. Furthermore, putting soil knowledge to work soils may in addition increasingly contribute to societal developments in sustainable energy, climate mitigation and adaptation, food supply, (ground)water management and sustainable urbanization.

SNOWMAN will also continue to liaise with relevant international stakeholders’ networks such as the governments’ run Common Forum and the Industrially orientated NICOLE network.

This is the first newsletter of the ‘new’ Snowman network in which we would like to update you and invite you to participate to various upcoming events.


The SNOWMAN network 'Knowledge of suitainable soils' will organize a conference in Paris on 7, 8 and 9 November 2011. It is a combined meeting to which researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders are cordially invited. The conference will comprise a workshop on Natural Attenuation cf contaminations, Call 2 and Call 3 participants' meetings. Participation is free.


November 7th: Workshop Natural Attenuation
A workshop on natural attenuation will be held. This form of remediation is well known, but presents a challenge in terms of technique and performance, fitting into soil policy, the sociological impact and the Financial and Legal implications.
Between the various SNOWMAN partner countries significant differences in implementation are found. Prior to the workshop, the SNOWMAN network wants to map these differences, along with an international inventory of recent research projects. Using this state-of-the-art infomation and some thematic key presentations, we want to share views and experiences during this unique day of knowledge exchange.

This is the 1st demonstration of how the SNOWMAN network wishes to facilitate the sharing of exchange of knowledge on soil between countries. On the same theme a webinar will be organized in 2012 in order to give access to information and its exchange as widely as possible.


November 8th and 9th: Kick off meeting Call 3 and Midterm meeting Call 2
On these days presentations and discussions will be held on the projects of the 2nd and 3rd SNOWMAN call of the research network on sustainable soil quality. The research projects of the 2nd call (Call 2 midterm meeting) are now half way and may have the First results available. The project plans can be found on the SNOWMAN website: www.snowmannetwork.com


The selected projects of the 3rd call (Kick-off call 3) will present their projectplans. Also in the 3rd call the network seeks a maximum of knowledge sharing and networking between researchers and hopes to welcome interested policymakers and stakeholders to provide practical effect of the intended results.


Please mark 7th , 8th and 9th November 2011 in your diary.
A program and practical information will follow. If you require a personalised invitation, please send your name, and contacts to info@snowmannetwork.com


On September 15th 2010 the SNOWMAN network launched it's 3rd Call.
The Call topics were:

  1. Soil functions and ecosystem services
  2. Sustainable agriculture and forestry
  3. Contamination

The Call closed on December 15th 2010, 14 project proposals were submitted and the selection proces was started. 6 project proposals were selected for funding. The balance in the projects exists of 3 projects on topics 1 and 2 and 3 projects on topic 3.

The selected projects for topics 1 and 2 are:
ECOSOM    Soil organic matter as a key factor in the provision of soil ecosystem services
SAS-STRAT Sustainable agriculture and soil: comparative study of strategies for managing the integrated quality of agricultural soilsin different regions of Europe/Belgium, France, Netherlands
SUSTAIN Soil functional biodiversity and ecosystem services, a transdisciplinary approach

For Topic 3: 
IBRACS Integrating Bioavailability in Risk Assessment of Contaminated Soils: opportunities and feasibilities
IMaHg Enhanced knowledge in mercury fate and transport for improved management of Hg  soil contamination
PACMAN    Assessment and Management of polar PACs in contaminated soils and remedial processes


The midterm results of the the Call 2 projects will be published on the SNOWMAN website for MCA and Rejuvenate 2 in September. For INSPECT the mid term report is available.
MCA    Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) of remediation alternatives to access their overall impact and cost/benefit, with focus on soil function (ecosystem services and goods) and sustainability.
Rejuvenate 2   Crop Based Systems for Sustainable Risk Based Land Management for Economically Marginal Degraded Areas,Phase II: Demonstration projects and evaluation decision support tool
INSPECT   INtegration of SPatially Explicit risks of ConTaminants in Spatial Planning and Land Management


SNOWMAN has co-initiated collaboration amongst EU networks on research and knowledge sharing in environmental domains. Such collaboration may lead to better and integrated (environmental) policies, regulation and practices. This will be based on benefits in exchange of knowledge and best practices, joint engagement with EU authorities, new funding opportunities and synergies in scope and content.

Currently a ‘meta-network of networks’ has been established with the self-sustained network SKEP (Environment), the current ERAnets ERA-ENVHEALTH (Climate change and health) and URBAN-Net (urban sustainability) and the former ERAnet CRUE (water). Also involved is the EU’s ERAnet information system NETWATCH and the initiative aims to include portals and tools, e.g. EUGRIS. The meta network will provide a new channel to jointly process knowledge and research results and to inform and engage with a wider audience. For example a new portal, a common calendar of events and links to the websites of the individual networks will be initiated. A major conference with back-to-back events of all participating networks is planned for June 2012 in Paris. Please mark your diary and wait for further announcements.