The European Joint Programme will boost soil research with main emphasis on agricultural soil management and its contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The aim is to construct a sustainable framework for an integrated community of research groups working on related aspects of agricultural soil management. The activities should look at how management of agricultural soils can reduce degradation of land and soils (in particular soil erosion and loss of organic matter), preserve and increase fertility of soils and how the processes related to organic content and water retaining capacity can support mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The EJP will evaluate and foster implementation of novel technologies for soil management and carbon sequestration. The aim of the EJP is also to look for synergies between different approaches used in Europe for farm level accounting of emissions and removals from agricultural activities and particularly of carbon storage. In doing so, activities will contribute to improving inventories, measurements, reporting and accounting activities at different scales. Sustainable agricultural productivity and environmental aspects will also be targeted in connection with climate change mitigation and adaptation, so that optimisation of land management is ensured.
The European Joint Programme will include joint programming and execution of research and other joint integrative activities such as education and training (e.g. short-term missions, workshops), knowledge management, access to experimental facilities and databases, including also harmonisation, standardisation. Farmers, landowners and other stakeholders should be included in research activities as appropriate in the spirit with the multi-actor approach.
State-of-art technologies for mapping and soil sampling and analysis (physical, chemical and biological parameters) should be explored for wider and simple use at various levels. In return, by e.g. developing new ICT tools, this could help farmers to protect and manage soils in line with current scientific understanding of processes. The EJP should also facilitate sampling and further development of LUCAS –European Soil Database as well support EU contribution to global soil mapping activities.