The Alpine Soil Partnership (AlpSP)
The Alpine Soil Partnership (AlpSP) joins soil experts and the users of soil knowledge (authorities, practitioners, NGO’s, etc.) to better introduce soil protection in land management practices and promotes Alpine-wide cooperation on soil protection & soil ecosystem services management.
The AlpSP was established during the EU Alpine Space project Links4Soils and links experts on horizontal and vertical levels: Public authorities and soil experts have the opportunity to understand gaps and needs of soil conservation to integrate solutions and create tools in their day-to-day work as a new standard.
The Alpine Soil Partnership is founded on a common Memorandum of Understanding. As a bottom-up network people and organisations working for sustainable soil management are invited to join the Alpine Soil Partnership by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Caring For Soils – Where Our Roots Grow
The slogan of the Alpine Soil Partnership “Caring For Soils – Where Our Roots Grow” was translated to a common framework of the Alpine Soil Partnership which can be summarized by the following four bullet points:
- Soils are a relevant factor for a functioning ecosystem and perform essential services for us: Link to SES.
The UN adapted 17 Goals that are necessary for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Soils can contribute to at least ten of them (No. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17) and the challenge is to expand particularly No. 2, 4, 11, 13, 17.
- Soils affect and are affected by climate change. Soils store more carbon than the atmosphere and vegetation together. Climate change challenges and changes the current ecosystem balance. Alpine soils are even more sensitive and diverse due to the largely diverse relief, climate etc. Climate change in the Alps also is more important than in low-lands. Soils play an essential role in climate change mitigation as well as climate change adaption by enhancing the resilience of our environment.
- Sustainable use of soils has been defined by the revised World Soil Charter (2015) as: “Soil management is sustainable if the supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services provided by soil are maintained or enhanced without significantly impairing (…) biodiversity”. Soils react (slowly) to environmental and climatic changes as well as to land uses and management practices. Soils are currently threatened by soil sealing, soil erosion and loss of soil organic matter.
Sustainable soil management aims at improving soil parameters that can be influenced by management practices in different sectors (e.g. presence of earthworms, erosion evidence, compaction, organic matter content, roots, friability, soil respiration).
- Sustainable soil management needs to be adopted in all land-use sectors (agriculture, forestry, tourism, spatial planning,…) by implementing good soil management practices that maintain, balance or improve SES but also do not render impossible the principal services of the land-use sector, e.g. provisioning of food in the case of agriculture. This means linking soil dynamics with the challenges of the land use management to guarantee a win-win situation.
Past AlpSP meetings:
- Alpine Soil Forum, Innsbruck 14th-16th of October 2019 – more information…
- Aosta, 14th – 16th of May 2019
- Munich, 7th November 2018
- Grenoble 28th of March 2018
- Innsbruck 6th to 9th of November 2017
- Ljubljana 29th to 30th of May 2017
The Alpine Soil Partners
In the framework of the Interreg Alpine Space project Links4Soils, the Alpine Soil Partnership (AlpSP) was established taking into account the sub-regional-level priorities and natural and cultural conditions of the Alpine region.
The AlpSP activities were officially launched during the Links4Soils project kick-off meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia in May 2017. The meeting allowed the first review of needs and ideas from Alpine region stakeholders for the future AlpSP activities.
The AlpSP is aiming towards federating all various stakeholders and institutions in the Alpine Region. We aspire for close cooperation with existing network structures such as the CIPRA, the EUSALP AG6, the Alpine Convention, the European Soil Partnership (ESP) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP).