ESA Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Remediation NOVASOIL innovations highlighted

ESA Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Remediation NOVASOIL innovations highlighted

The ESA Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Remediation, held on 6-7 March at ESA-ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, served as a cornerstone event for the convergence of global efforts in soil protection and remediation. Among the distinguished participants was Francisco José Blanco Velázquez of EVENOR-TECH, SLU (Spain), who took the opportunity to present the groundbreaking initiatives of the NOVASOIL project.

NOVASOIL: A beacon for soil health

NOVASOIL, which runs from November 2022 to October 2025, is at the forefront of innovative business models for soil health. With a consortium of 16 partners from 10 countries and 17 case studies, NOVASOIL aims to revolutionise the approach to investing in soil health in Europe and beyond. Francisco José Blanco Velázquez’s presentation highlighted the project’s multiple objectives:

  • Develop business cases: Creating a portfolio that demonstrates the multi-dimensional benefits of investing in soil health.
  • New incentives and revenues: Analysing and creating new incentives for stakeholders to promote healthy soils.
  • Co-Development approach: Implement participatory modelling to promote soil health.
  • Toolbox prototype and testing network: Develop practical tools for stakeholders and establish a network to test these innovations.
  • Policy and technology analysis: Evaluate current policies and technologies to improve soil health and generate income for landowners.
  • Community of Practice: Build a network of investors and key stakeholders focused on soil health.
  • Digital marketing strategy: Raising awareness of soil health through targeted digital campaigns.
  • The role of earth observation

Blanco Velázquez highlighted earth observation as a key element in achieving NOVASOIL’s goals. Key environmental variables such as vegetation indices, water stress, soil variables (including soil organic carbon) and leaf area index are monitored from space. This data is critical for establishing baselines, conducting ongoing monitoring and verifying results, all of which are essential to the success of the project.

Technology and Innovation for Soil Health

The symposium provided a unique platform to discuss preferences for different business models, commitment to carbon farming and the supporting role of technology in these endeavours. NOVASOIL’s approach of using Google Earth Engine and related ESA services for baseline validation, monitoring and verification was presented as a model for integration and development in soil health initiatives.

Connecting and engaging

Francisco José Blanco Velázquez’s presentation not only highlighted the innovative advances being made by NOVASOIL, but also emphasised the critical role of collaborative efforts in soil protection and restoration. Through initiatives such as NOVASOIL, the symposium demonstrated a global commitment to harnessing technology and innovative business models for the sustainability of our planet’s soils.

For more information on NOVASOIL and its initiatives, interested parties are encouraged to visit EVENOR-TECH and the NOVASOIL project website.

At a time when environmental sustainability is more critical than ever, the contributions of Francisco José Blanco Velázquez and the NOVASOIL project at the ESA Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Restoration mark a significant step forward in our collective journey towards healthier soils and a healthier planet.

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