Activities of the project

1. Project
Management and Monitoring

The action will ensure that: all project activities are being carried
out according to the planned time-table and financial provisions, their output
is consistent with the project’s scope and specific objectives and is of high
quality; sharing of information among project partners is effective; the
finances of the project are properly managed; progress minutes and other
material to be made available to all partners through the project’s web-portal
are prepared in due time; reporting to the EC on project progress is effective.
Moreover the action will measure and document the effectiveness of project
actions vis-à-vis objectives and expected results.

2. Development of
software for the application of the soil monitoring methodology developed by
CRA ABP – Creation of a Manual for the adaption of Soil Monitoring Software web
application (SMS) in different EU Regions

A web based application SMS (Soil Monitoring
Software) will be developed by EKPA in collaboration with CRA ABP. The
application will support all critical functions required for soil monitoring
and management, based on the soil monitoring methodology developed by CRA ABP.
The use of Information Technology and the web environment will render the
aforementioned methodology fully operational at the level of Local and Regional
Authorities (LRAs). In order to provide effective user support services, EKPA
will cooperate with CRA ABP to produce a user’s manual. This manual will
contain information and instructions for the use of the proposed application.

3. Implementation –
Pilot Application of the SMS in two EU Regions:
Sicily and Peloponnese – Identification of
risk areas and targets for actions

Land degradation is a slow process driven by
both natural and human determinants. The identification of the problem in early
stage provides sufficient time to policy makers to intervene by implementing
low cost policies. Driven by The European Thematic Strategy for Soil
Protection, national and regional soil monitoring networks are being designed
or have recently been created across
Europe. The requirements of the monitoring networks
are diverse. Monitoring information is needed to help policy-makers understand
the current state of the environment, how it is changing, and to understand the
pressures placed upon it. Information from monitoring is required to assess
whether national and international laws and agreements for protecting the
environment are met. Additionally, monitoring information will also support the
development and implementation of future soil and environmental policy and
management guidance by providing evidence on the state of soils. In two regions
Sicily in Italy and Peloponnese in Greece), SMS will be implemented and
tested. The scope is to identify risk areas RAI (Risk Area Identification)
targets for action by using the method provided by CRA ABP. The proposed method
identifies risk areas and allows users to model phenomena that influence soil
degradation and to test assumptions for soil protection strategies.

4. Demonstration of
the use of SMS & RAI to other Regional Authorities (RAs)

Demonstrating the abilities to other
potential users is necessary and it may result to the establishment of a
network of collaborating regions with similar soil and environmental management
concerns. At this point, cost effectiveness plays an important role and the
methods for demonstrating SMS and RAI were carefully chosen.

Participation in DG Regio Open Days and DG
Environment Green week will promote the use of SMS and also promote soil
protection management. Publishing the results and outputs of the project on the
web-portal (open to public) where interested parties and individuals can see
the results of the project and provide the project partnership with their
feedback. A list of potential users of the web-tool and soil monitoring
methodology will be maintained by all project partners. This list will be
processed by CRA ABP and EKPA. A short questionnaire will be send to potential
users to identify soil degradation risk. As a follow-up, scientific institutes
will send a description of the benefits of using the SMS tool and approach and
organise of web demonstrations by all partners in order to demonstrate SMS to
potential users.

5. Training to
potential users

Training potential users to the proposed
application is the next step after demonstration. Training will help new users
to understand the necessity of soil protection and will advertise the European
thematic strategy for soil protection. EKPA as the major scientific educational
institute in
Greece will elaborate soil management
issues by extensive promotion of e-course.

6. Pilot Application
of soil protection measures in two EU Regions:
Sicily and Peloponnese

The pilot application in two regions will
demonstrate the power of the methodology for soil monitor and management, since
the two regions share common characteristics but they have many differences as
Sicily is an island and can be considered an
isolated system (close system), while region of
Peloponnese covers part of the Peloponnese peninsular. In this case Region
of Peloponnese is affected by administrative acts by the neighbouring region of
West Greece, (open system). Both regional
authorities need to consulate with public in order to present a feasible
management plan.

Regions of Sicily & Peloponnese elaborate
on specific financial, legal or other relevant incentives, considering existing
policies of the Italian and the
GreekState to promote the best available
techniques against the soil degradation process in agriculture, in tourism,
industry, etc.

7. Use of the SMS to
monitor the effectiveness of soil protection measures

Monitor of soil condition is a prerequisite
of the thematic strategy on the protection of soil. The monitor period begins
right after the completion of the initial snapshot by SMS. All measures taken
after this milestone will be reflected to the soil condition in the long run. Region
personnel with the assistance and support of scientific institutes will monitor
soil condition. The elaboration of measures should have a positive effect on
soils and according to the soil protection strategy, monitoring is an essential
and critical step in order to have a successful management. In monitoring
period samples will be gathered in order to evaluate soil condition.

8. Awareness
campaign against soil degradation process targeting soil users and all
stakeholders – outreach

The aim of this
action is to ensure that project progress and outputs are disseminated as
effectively as possible and to stimulate environmental awareness in order to
sustain the application of soil protection measure after the end of the
project. All partners will participate in this action.

LIFE08 ENV/IT/000428 - Centro Nazionale di Cartografia Pedologica - P.zza D'Azeglio 30 - 50139 Firenze - ITALY - Credits