Caring for Soils - Where Our Roots Grow.

Project partners at the kick-off meeting in Ljubljana, May 2017

Project Partners

AIS | Agricultural Institute of Slovenia | Lead partner

The AIS is a leading SI national research institute in the field of agriculture. Main AIS activities are research and professional work as well as consultancy services. It supports farmers, authorities, other research institutions, protected areas, general public and NGO’s. The activities in the field of sustainable management and protection of natural resources in agro-environments, mainly soil and groundwater, are carried out by the Department of Agricultural Ecology and Natural Resources. The diverse education of the department’s staff reflects the distinctive multi-disciplinary approach to research and expert consultancy. The AIS has excelled as project leader in FP7 (CropSustaIn), H2020 (TREASURE) and in Interreg (AGROTUR) projects.

Contact person | Borut Vrščaj | email




"Soils conduct the ecosystem services and functions that are vital for ecosystem    functioning and the existence of life on land."




SFS | Slovenia Forest Service

Slovenia Forest Service (SFS) is a public institution performing public forestry services and preparing and controlling the implementation of all forest management plans, private and state-owned. The SFS is experienced in sustainable/natural forests management, planning, knowledge transfer to forest owners and practitioners; assessment of forest ecosystem functions, forest site productivity, erosion risks, planning silviculture and protection measures, introduction of harvesting technology and planning forest infrastructure to prevent soil erosion and compaction, and assessing acceptability of encroachments in forests.

Contact person | Aleš Poljanec | email

AdTLR | Office of the Tyrolean Provincial Government

The AdTLR departments (Department of Agricultural Schools, Hunt and Fishery and the Department of Forest Planning) are highly experienced in agricultural soil management, long term monitoring of soils (polluted and non-polluted sites), consulting for recultivation of agricultural land-uses. In forest planning they have high regional competence in forest planning, design of protective forests, consultancy for private forest owners and a legal mandate for preparation and approval of management plans for community forests. They are a creator and maintainer of the largest database of forest soils in Tyrol.

Contact person | Thomas Peham | email




"Soils are incredibly diverse and the organisms in it even multiply more. Let’s take care of them as they care for us with supplying various ecosystem services."




KBT | Climate Alliance Tyrol

The Climate Alliance of Tyrol is a regional Non-for-Profit Organisation, affiliated to the Climate Alliance of Austria and Europe. It is working in close cooperation with the Office of the Regional Government and Tyrolean municipalities. Generally, the Climate Alliance offers consultancy for public authorities related to the implementation of climate protection activities and overall sustainability measures. By means of regional, national and EU co-financed projects the Climate Alliance is developing various initiatives and actions to support the overall climate protection and sustainability goals. It is regularly organising conferences to stimulate networking and the exchange of best practices on a regional and interregional level.

Contact person | Maria Legner | email



"We need convenient tools and forceful partnerships to translate
the multiple functions of soil in decision making processes."




UIBK | Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck

UIBK focus is research in the Alps related to natural hazards, hydrology, soils, land use, protection and sustainable management of natural resources. It has methodological experience in soil survey and mapping, digital soil mapping, evaluation of soil functions and ecosystem services. UIBK is skilled in using and development of remote sensing methods, GIS modelling approaches and modelling land use and climatic changes and their effects. UIBK cooperates with spatial planners to bring soil data in planning decisions, conduct stakeholder processes to raise awareness for soil protection, environmental changes and needed adaptations. It performs networking in environmental education and links scientific results into practice.

Contact person | Clemens Geitner | email



„The Alpine soils  can no longer be seen as purely natural, as they are rather hybrid systems influenced by land use and further research about this issue is needed and should be  taken into account in future decisions.“




UNITO | University of Torino, DISAFA – Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences

UNITO has specific experiences in soil survey, soil laboratory analysis, soil data collection and soil mapping using GIS techniques and remote sensing data. It has participated to several national and international projects concerning mountain soils. It published several papers and books on mountain soils (e.g. Understanding Mountain Soils. A contribution from mountain areas to the International Year of Soils 2015, FAO, Rome). It is strongly committed to outreach capacity building and knowledge transfer, soil awareness raising by targeting several audiences (youth, students, farmers, regional administration and decision makers).

Contact person | Silvia Stanchi | email




"Understanding alpine soils to improve life of mountain people”








Contact person | Michele Freppaz | email



Alpine soils play an essential role for a better life
not only in mountains but also in lowland areas”





RAVA | Autonomous region of Aosta valley

The two RAVA departments cooperate and produce hazard and risk maps of the whole Valle d’Aosta region, perform and coordinate studies aimed to improve the technical knowledge on natural resources and environmental threats of the Aosta territory. They performed and coordinated studies on soil characteristics (mechanical parameters, soil saturation, and hydraulic properties) and create soil/land vulnerability maps. They model soil /environmental threats to improve hydrological models for natural disaster prevention and assist regional authority in decision making and disseminate data and result to wide number of stakeholders.

Contact person | Evelyne Navillod | email




"Assessment and Mapping of the Vulnerability of Soils
to protect people and promote a better living"




IRSTEA | National research institute of science and technology for environment and agriculture, Grenoble regional centre

IRSTEA is a data provider and database manager for soil markers and experienced in spatial data analysis (remote sensing technologies, geographic information system), modelling and mapping of the geographical distribution of soils, soil erosion susceptibility, and soil ecosystems services. It carries research of soil pollution history in forests (dendro-ecotoxicology, tree-ring pollutants concentrations, isotopes ratios analysis for reconstruction of soil pollution history at annual timescale) and identification of long-term trends of point source soil pollution. IRSTEA offers technical & scientific support to decision/policy makers for French mountain forests, development of mountain territories, environmental and human welfare policies.

Contact person | Frédéric Berger | email

MKAUF | Municipality of Kaufering

The municipality of Kaufering and the region of Landsberg developed a climate protection concept in the year 2013. Part of the climate protection concept are on local and regional level the protection of soils by a sustainable silvicultural and agricultural management (energy forests, alluvial forests etc.) in order to safeguard ecosystem services that soils provide (i.e. protective functions for erosion or climate change, filter functions, health functions). The sustainable soil management goes along with the ecological renewable energy production of woody biomass. Markt Kaufering has soil-related communication and dissemination experiences, and addresses the local and regional climate protection, forest, agricultural, and soil policies.

Contact person | Ludwig Pertl | email



"A fruitful living soil is the necessity basic for our live and we need urgently more and better soils"