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Montanarella L.,European Commission DG JRC | Alva I.L.,Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies IASS
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2015

Soils are considered across the Rio Conventions and while some advances have been made in the past two decades, implementation remains lacking and soil-related issues persist. This calls for a more integrated approach for the implementation of the Conventions. Similarly, soils will play a key role to achieve the post-2015 development agenda and can be found across the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This cross-cutting role is not being sufficiently acknowledged in the negotiations. Putting soils on the policy agenda will depend on a major shift in the discussion to recognize that soils underpin a wide range of services and should, therefore, be protected for future generations. Concerted efforts for advocacy within the post-2015 development agenda need to focus on keeping soils on the agenda and on making proposals for the effective implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


Bloem J.J.,European Commission DG JRC | Lodi C.,University of Lleida | Cipriano J.,Building Energy and Environment Group | Chemisana D.,University of Lleida
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2012

This article presents and discusses an outdoor Test Reference Environment (TRE) for double skin applications of Building Integrated PhotoVoltaic (BIPV) Systems. From the experience gained during the past 20 years in several EC research projects, an experimental tested design for a common Test Reference Environment is proposed. This outdoor test set-up allows the assessment of experimental data for electrical and thermal performance evaluation of photovoltaic systems integrated as double skin applications in the building envelope. The specific design of the Test Reference Environment makes it possible to study in a harmonised way through electrical and thermal energy flow analysis, the impact of different materials for PV modules and construction design of building envelopes. The energy balance for BIPV double skin applications is presented as well. The experimental data has been used for validation of modelling work by several academic groups which has resulted in an improved knowledge on the heat transfer, in particular the convective heat exchange coefficient for the specific double skin boundary conditions. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Arrouays D.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Grundy M.G.,CSIRO | Hartemink A.E.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Hempel J.W.,Natural Resources Conservation Service | And 13 more authors.
Advances in Agronomy | Year: 2014

Soil scientists are being challenged to provide assessments of soil condition from local through to global scales. A particular issue is the need for estimates of the stores and fluxes in soils of water, carbon, nutrients, and solutes. This review outlines progress in the development and testing of GlobalSoilMap-a digital soil map that aims to provide a fine-resolution global grid of soil functional properties with estimates of their associated uncertainties. A range of methods can be used to generate the fine-resolution spatial estimates depending on the availability of existing soil surveys, environmental data, and point observations. The system has an explicit geometry for estimating point and block estimates of soil properties continuously down the soil profile. This geometry is necessary to ensure mass balance when stores and fluxes are computed. It also overcomes some limitations with existing systems for characterizing soil variation with depth. GlobalSoilMap has been designed to enable delivery of soil data via Web services. This review provides an overview of the system's technical specifications including the minimum data set. Examples from contrasting countries and environments are then presented to demonstrate the robustness of the technical specifications. GlobalSoilMap provides the means for supplying soil information in a format and resolution compatible with other fundamental data sets from remote sensing, terrain analysis, and other systems for mapping, monitoring, and forecasting biophysical processes. The initial research phase of the core project is nearing completion and attention is now shifting toward establishing the institutional and governance arrangements necessary to complete a full global coverage and maintaining the operational version of the GlobalSoilMap. This will be a grand and rewarding challenge for the soil science profession in the coming years. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source


Montanarella L.,European Commission DG JRC | Vargas R.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2012

In the current era of multiple crises, from food price, through climate change to economic failure, policy makers around the world are exploring opportunities to make a shift to a green economy. The international community is seeking new ways of developing the concept of sustainable development up to and beyond the Earth Summit in 2012, mainly with regards to practical ways for the coherent implementation of the three pillars of sustainability, moving away from trade-offs to synergies between the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. Within that context, special attention to global soil resources should be paid, given that global soil resources constitute the basis for the provision of ecosystem services and at the same time those are limited and currently under pressure by various threats including competing land uses, such as energy production, housing and infrastructure, nature protection, mining and industrial activities. Future food security for a growing population can only be assured if sufficient area of fertile soils and water will be available for food production. Available legal frameworks for soil conservation at national and regional level seem not to be able to regulate the current use of soil resources in order to assure long-term sustainability. A new framework is needed based on partnership and participatory approaches at all levels, from the local to the global scale, enabling sustainable soil management at all levels and for the different land use activities. A new Global Soil Partnership (GSP), as proposed by the FAO and the EU, could be the way forward for a renaissance of soil conservation activities assuring the necessary availability of soil resources for both current and future generations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Montanarella L.,European Commission DG JRC
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science | Year: 2015

The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) has been established, following an intensive preparatory work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the European Commission (EC), as a voluntary partnership coordinated by the FAO in September 2011 [1]. The GSP is open to all interested stakeholders: Governments (FAO Member States), Universities, Research Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Industry and private companies. It is a voluntary partnership aiming towards providing a platform for active engagement in sustainable soil management and soil protection at all scales: local, national, regional and global. As a "coalition of the willing" towards soil protection, it attempts to make progress in reversing soil degradation with those partners that have a genuine will of protecting soils for our future generations. It openly aims towards creating an enabling environment, despite the resistance of a minority of national governments, for effective soil protection in the large majority of the countries that are genuinely concerned about the rapid depletion of their limited soil resources. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

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