The WORLDSOILS project has accomplished the Acceptance Review (AR) milestone with the European Space Agency (ESA). The review meeting held on the 10th and 11th of November 2022 at GMV Aerospace in Tres Cantos (Madrid) successfully closes Phase 2 of the Earth Observation based Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) monitoring system implementation. The meeting discussions counted with the participation of the project team members and the Steering Committee members (JRC, EEA, DG DEFIS, AgroParisTech).
Three key steps were achieved throughout 2022: first, the design of the SOC monitoring system; second, the engineering deployment of such system in a cloud infrastructure. During this AR meeting, the technical team performed a demonstration of the system operations that will be carried out as part of the validation activities in 2023.
The objective of the AR meeting has been the demonstration of the WORLDSOILS monitoring system and the findings reported in the Demonstration Analysis Report (DAR), including a detailed description of the testing and verification activities performed, relative to the System Implementation, Verification and Testing. The documentation reviewed included the Software User Manual, the Input/output Document, the Demonstration Analysis Report and an advanced Validation Plan.
During the meeting, the team provided an overview of the system, deployed in a cloud platform; interfaces provide access to the user via web browser for map generation and a graphic user interface (GUI). Likewise, the architecture to process the Sentinel-2 composites, algorithms for bare and vegetated soils prediction, mosaicking and aggregation was reviewed with ESA.
A keynote discussion topic was the one referred to the adaptation of the system to a larger end user community after the project, perhaps through agreed licensing. For this purpose, during the operational phase (phase 3, 2023), partners, together with ESA, will explore the future system usability in the context of the current EU policy frame, the scientific basis and the technical solutions for the system sustainability, the satisfaction of end user requirements and the development of new soil products for Copernicus demands.
On the 11th of November we had a dedicated Soil Policy session guided by SC members, Arwyn Jones (JRC) and Rainer Baritz (EEA). Soil is a most relevant cross cutting topic in relation to climate change and socio-economic pressures that have been reducing the LULUCF sink over the last years. The EU is pushing forward climate action through different initiatives to promote sustainable land management practices e.g., the Green Deal and the Soil Health and Food Mission. The implementation of these initiatives is articulated via several strategies and regulations e.g., 2030 climate target plan, the new Forest Strategy, the new Common Agricultural Policy Regulation (CAP), 2023-2027, and the amendment of the Regulation (EC) 2018/841 on LULUCF.
If you want to get involved as a WORLDSOILS Stakeholder, please contact us at the Stakeholders section.