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The ESA Symposium on Earth Observation for Soil Protection and Restoration took place in Frascati, Italy from March 6 to 7. The two-day symposium brought together professionals and experts from across international organizations such as EEA, FAO, ISRIC, UNCCD, JRC, among many others, as well as researchers from renowned universities. The objectives of the symposium were to discuss the usability of Earth Observations for soil protection and restoration, evaluate the Soil Organic Carbon Monitoring System by WORLDSOILS, prospect ways to contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality and reporting to Sustainable Development Goal 15.3.1 and to showcase the capacity of satellite remote sensing for monitoring and verifying specific soil components.

GEO-LDN was represented at session 2 of the symposium on Monitoring Soil Parameters: Earth Observation as a Trustworthy Technique. With a focus on bridging Earth Observation capacities and country needs for informed decisions to reach Land Degradation Neutrality, we presented an overview of the work of GEO-LDN together with our global network of partner institutions and countries. While the status quo for global Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) datasets can be described as not yet satisfactory for land use planning decisions, this situation sees improvement chances with the emergence of new technologies such as AI and improved datasets (remote sensing as well as in-situ) to fill gaps in space and time. Looking beyond the implementation of LDN, improved soil data inventories promise great return on investment and can become a driver for innovation, as they would for instance open opportunities in carbon credit schemes.

The ESA Symposium also explored other aspects related to the current work on SOC, including business models, remote sensing methodologies and beyond. Find out more on the event website ESA Symposium on EO 4 Soil Protection and Restoration.

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