Soils are essential for many basic ecosystem services we highly depend on. Especially in the Alps, soil is a vulnerable resource. Nevertheless, they are only too rarely reported.
During the 3rd week of October 2019, soils were in the spotlight in Innsbruck (AT). On 16-17 October, the members of the Working Group Soil Protection of the Alpine Convention, chaired by Germany, met for the second time and discussed on soil monitoring, comparability of data, relevant international soil networks and institutions as well as on a planned soil movie awareness raising series. Furthermore, in the margin of the presentation of the activities within the Natural Hazards Working Group (PLANALP) soil issues about natural risks were addressed. Cross-border work was also carried out with the Alpine Climate Board, in order to collect input for potential implementation pathways of the Alpine Climate Target System 2050, in which soils play a significant role.
From 14-16 October the “Alpine Soil Forum: Soil management fit for the future”, which was at the same time the final conference of the project Links4Soils, took place. The Permanent Secretariat, in the person of Wolfger Mayrhofer, presented the background on soil protection within the scope of the Alpine Framework Convention and the Soil Conservation Protocol. Secretary General, Alenka Smerkolj stated during the panel discussion on “Steps towards sustainable soil management”: “We only have one planet. We need to take care of it. Cooperating and working together in partnerships for a truly sustainable development is the way we need to go”. Finally, different soil uses were demonstrated during an excursion showcasing, amongst others, forest soils or a peat bog under agricultural use and the soil of a ski slope.