The aim of Soils4Africa is to provide an open-access soil information system with a set of key indicators and underpinning data, accompanied with a methodology for repeated soil monitoring across the African continent. The soil information system will become part of the knowledge and information system of FNSSA and will be hosted by an African institute.
The project’s key activities will include:
- defining use cases and indicators in consultation with stakeholders;
- making a functional design of the soil information system;
- developing detailed procedures and tools for the field activities based on the LUCAS methodology and collect 20000 soil samples;
- developing detailed procedures for laboratory work and analyse the collected soil samples at one reference laboratory located in Africa; and
- developing the technical infrastructure for the soil information system and making the results available as open data linked with open EO data.
The project addresses the work programme of Horizon 2020’s SocietalChallenge 2 in the following ways:
- Firstly, it contributes to Priority 2 (Fostering functional ecosystems) because the soil information system is a tool to target interventions that improve soil quality and provides insight in the impact of these interventions.
- Secondly, it contributes to Priority 1 (Addressing climate change and resilience on land and sea), as the soil information system will contribute to the assessment of carbon losses from soil and the identification of areas with high potential for soil carbon sequestration.
- Finally, the Soil Information System provides a platform for the development of sustainable business models by service companies aiming at the development of sustainable food systems, contributing to Priority 3 (Boosting major innovations on land and sea).
Soils4Africa is linking with relevant H2020 projects and Copernicus on EO data use. It actively connects organizations across Africa and Europe for synergies and promotes an Open Science approach.