The Basque Country will organize SOILUZIOAK 2023 on October 10 and 11 at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, a unique congress on soil protection that seeks to bring together 250 specialists in the field to think about the need to manage soil from the points of view of human health, biodiversity, climate change, food security or water quality, among other issues.
The congress, which will be held on October 10 and 11 in Bilbao, aims to think about the present and future challenges of soil protection from different points of view and agents
To contribute to this goal, SOILUZIOAK 2023 will offer inspiring talks, high-tech lectures, parallel sessions with discussions and success stories, as well as workshops and guided field trips.
It will also benefit from the experiences of other advanced European regions in this field. In fact, the day before, October 9, the annual meeting of the Common Forum will be held, a European network of technical and political leaders from the EU countries specialized in contaminated soils and new strategies for soil protection.
The deadline to pre-register for SOILUZIOAK 2023 is now open. To do so, simply write to the mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org indicating name and e-mail. The cost of the event will be 50€, including coffees, lunch, field visits and materials.
A pioneering strategy
In June 2022, the Basque Government approved the first Soil Preservation Strategy of the Basque Country 2030 which, overcoming the traditional vision of working on contaminated soils in which the Basque Country is an advanced region in Europe, comprehensively addresses soil management.
It is a pioneering strategy coordinated by the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability, and Environment of the Basque Government, in which numerous entities have participated. It sets the ambitious goal of preventing, through sustainable land management, the net degradation of this environment by mid-century, while ensuring its conservation in terms of biodiversity and human health.
The SOILUZIOAK 2023 congress will also serve to outline the objectives of this strategy and to address the best available solutions to current and future soil protection challenges.
Soil, a key resource for life
The soil, a key resource for the existence of the human being and remaining species, provides 95% of the food we consume; however, until a few years ago it has been one of the great forgotten in environmental protection.
Soil degradation leads to the loss of ecosystem services, estimated at around €38 billion per year in the European Union. Erosion alone costs European farmers 1.25 billion euros a year. In this context, soil protection, initially scattered in multiple policies and sector planning, has been gaining prominence in a new global and European scenario in which it has regained its rightful place in the unwavering safeguard of the ecological, social and economic values of our planet.
In this sense, it should be noted that historically, as a result of the magnitude of the problem in many countries, especially the most industrialized ones, almost exclusive attention has been paid to contaminated soils, in whose management the Basque Country is a reference at European level.
However, beyond pollution, there are other threats such as erosion, sealing, salinization, compaction, loss of organic matter and biodiversity or landslides which should not be forgotten when the purpose is the comprehensive protection of the resource. A global soil protection strategy must consider each and every threat that is negatively affecting the health of our soils and, consequently, the ability to perform their functions.