Unesco Green Citizens
Project begin: 01/10/2010

Soil4Life is a citizen-driven project determined to keep its feet on the ground and protect our soil through information, training and advocacy.

Leading organisation: Legambiente Onlus
The country where the team is based: Italy
Covered Countries: Italy, France, Croatia
Theme: Biodiversity
Sub-themes: Forests and desertification, Natural resource management, Sustainable lifestyles
Tag: #Youth
Selection: 2021
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Our soil is a precious resource essential for biodiversity, regulating carbon and water cycles and the balance of our biosphere. However, it is increasingly threatened by contamination, urbanisation and loss of organic carbon – without many of us realising the impact this is having. In 2017, the survey carried out by Italian association Legambiente revealed limited awareness about the importance of our soil.

Supported by Legambiente, Soil4Life is a European project that brings together Italian, French and Croatian partners to promote soil as a strategic resource that is limited and non-renewable. The initiative coordinates contributions from different associations and research institutes committed to preserving soil through concrete actions and policies backed by data to monitor the ecological impacts.

The challenge and stakes of managing soils

Soil4Life combines training, awareness and advocacy activities for key stakeholders involved in managing soil including national and local government, policy deciders and farmers, as well as citizens. Awareness campaigns connect with different targets, while the regional Soil Consumption Observatories aim to support soil monitoring activities. In Italy, Soil4Life has run pilot projects to reduce soil sealing in the Rome region and reconstitute the organic substance of agricultural soils in Lombardy. With the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), the team organised capacity-building training for young people to learn how to restore and regenerate soils. This was also the opportunity to co-write the Soil4Life manifesto.

Created to share and connect local actions, the Network of Soil Ambassadors provides updates and insights into local initiatives directly on the Soil4Life blog.

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