GS Soil aims at establishing a Best Practice Network dealing with a cluster of the data themes listed in the Annexes I to III of the INSPIRE Directive (2007/2/EC) and focused on soil related issues. The establishment of the soil thematic strategy and the new transboundary EU approach for protected sites management has enforced the link between soil conservation and best practice use and geo-information. This has generated the need for interoperable, accessible and harmonised datasets for the EU. The link is also addressed by the INSPIRE Directive which pursues an EU Spatial Data Infrastructure to support environmental policies. The GS Soil Network aims, through state-of-the-art methodologies and best practice examples, to improve harmonisation of national datasets and make them more accessible and exploitable within Europe. Therefore, the consortium contributes to the INSPIRE implementation with specific reference to a cluster of data themes on nature conservation (as per the INSPIRE Annexes). Within the INSPIRE directive the theme soil is explicitly addressed as an individual theme (Annex III) and besides that soil related environmental, agricultural and forestry aspects are also addressed in Annex II and III. According to this, the thematic focus of GS Soil is set on soil as an important parameter according to climate, land use, geology and geomorphology. At the same time soils are the basis for food production and consumer health, for the ecological and economical balance and for many other important bases of life. Considering the INSPIRE Annexes, the following soil and soil related themes will be considered: • Basic soil describing information including depth, texture, structure and organic material as described in Annex III theme "Soil", • Information about soil monitoring facilities and long term observations as part of the Annex III theme "Environmental Monitoring Facilities", • Information about the soil related aspects of Annex III theme "Natural Risk Zones" as e.g. landslides, soil erosion, soil compaction, soil organic carbon decline, salinization, acidification and soil biodiversity loss, • Soil related information of the INSPIRE Annex III theme "Human Health and Safety" and • Soils as primary site factor to identify protected land as part of the INSPIRE Annex I theme "Protected Sites" (e.g. peat land, extrazonal sites) The main objective of the GS Soil Network is to: • involve new stakeholders; • share data and best practices; • Improve and stimulate exploitation and • the re-use of information on nature conservation.
Main Research Area:
SCIENCE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - environment for society, 2011