IUSS Alert 211 (January-February 2023)



Welcome note by the new IUSS President

The new President of the IUSS, Dr. Edoardo A.C. Costantini, has sent a welcome message to the IUSS members, which has been published in the News on the IUSS webpage (https://old.iuss.org/). The President states that the IUSS needs continuous improvement to remain up to date and able to cope with the challenges posed by global changes, in a scientific and political arena that sees soil becoming more and more of interest for global institutions, governments, and private companies. We must collaborate with all stakeholders, but well equipped and dynamic, to efficiently support the scientific evidence of the importance of soil as a resource for life. Food security, the fight against desertification, combating climate change and loss of biodiversity, improving the well-being and health of citizens, recycling of effluents and organic materials, hydrogeological protection, and water safety, are all global challenges that cannot be achieved without deep scientific soil knowledge. It is our obligation to provide this knowledge in an effective, unbiased, and convincing way. The new Strategic Plan for the IUSS sets new goals and poses important novelties, such as a stronger involvement of the Council in the further development of the IUSS, with an annual instead of a biannual meeting. We shall keep our major events: the World Congress in 2026 and the Inter-Congress meeting in 2024 which will be held in China. We are also going to celebrate the Centennial of the IUSS in Italy in 2024. The programme is available at https://centennialiuss2024.org/ and the call for sessions has been already launched.

New IUSS Secretariat from January 2023

After a lengthy selection procedure, which started with a call in April receiving three applications followed by an online hearing and an evaluation carried out by the IUSS Executive Committee, the Full members approved by vast majority the recommendation of the Executive Committee to select CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics of Italy) in Rome, as the new host of the IUSS Secretariat. The handover to the new Secretariat took place in January. Currently, the Secretariat is going through a transition phase and will be in full operation in a few months (summer time). The current transition, will in fact, require an increase in the Secretariat's operational capacity for which personnel selections are underway. A call for candidates Secretariat Office Manager will be launch next week from CREA. The structure of the new IUSS Secretariat is shown in the table below and will be in charge for the next 4 years.


IUSS Secretariat 2023-2026


IUSS Stimulus fund – Call for submissions

IUSS has established an annual Stimulus Fund to support suitable activities within the Commissions and Working Groups. Where appropriate, the Fund will also support other activities to assist the development of Soil Science generally but particularly in regions of the world where lack of resources limit opportunities.  

Deadline for submissions: extended to 30 April 2023



Call for IUSS projects

The success of the WCSS held in Glasgow has increased the financial status of the IUSS and permits to finance projects aimed at the implementation of the IUSS Strategic Plan. Project proposals might be submitted to achieve specific objectives of the Strategic Plan and should involve the scientific structure of the IUSS, such as one or more Division, Commission WG, or the Forum. Proposals should be sent to . Proposals will be evaluated according to their elements of novelty, clarity and pertinence of the project's objectives to the Strategic Plan, the foreseen impact on the objectives, and the quality and efficiency of the implementation.  

Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2023 

The IUSS at EGU 2023

The IUSS will have a stand at the next EGU in Vienna 23–28 April 2023, together with the Chinese and the Italian Soil Science Societies. The gadgets and info materials of the IUSS, those of the next Inter-Congress WCSS in China, and that of the Centennial in Italy will be distributed. Some IUSS officers and colleagues will be present at the stand to share info and ideas for the Union and the progress of Soil Sciences. Your visit is warmly welcome!

Read more: https://webforms.copernicus.org/EGU23/views/exhibitor-portals

IUSS Centennial – Call for session proposals

The IUSS Centennial website has opened the registrations and the call for session proposals at https://centennialiuss2024.org/

Session proposals can be submitted until 30 June 2023.

The programme group chair and officers will build the session programme from the session proposals. The programme group chair may also suggest to merge proposed sessions that are similar.  

Commission 1.6 Paleopedology Newsletters

Newsletter no. 32 from Commission 1.6 is now available on the IUSS website.


Read more: https://old.iuss.org/newsroom/newsletters/paleopedology-newsletters-commission-16/

Soil Science Society of China (SSSC) Newsletter

Soil Science Society of China (SSSC) Newsletter Vol.7 and Vol.8  

Read more: https://old.iuss.org/newsroom/newsletters/soil-science-society-of-china-sssc-newsletter/

News from national and regional soil science societies

Soil Science Australia

Dr Allan E. Hewitt (MWLR), Dr Megan R. Balks (University of Waikato), and Prof David J. Lowe (University of Waikato) were recently awarded the J.K. Taylor Gold Medal of Soil Science Australia for 2022 for their book “The Soils of Aotearoa New Zealand” (Springer, 2021).


British Society of Soil Science (Newsletter ISSUE 8 | FEBRUARY 2023)

Launch of the Policy Legacy Report

The Soil Policy event held at the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow was the first session of its kind, drawing together an expert group of invited speakers to discuss the complexities, challenges and opportunities of soil policy and governance.

Read more: https://soils.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/BSSS_WCSS-Soil-Policy-Legacy-Report_Jan-2023_Final_no-crops-compressed.pdf

Building on the World Congress’ Impacts

Following the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in August 2022, an open letter to the soil science community has been published. With this letter, it is hoped to sustain the legacy of the Congress through sharing lessons learned and as a reference point for future events.


Read more: https://soils.org.uk/


General News


News from ESDAC Newsletter No 150 (February 2023)

Soil Health dashboard of the EU Soil Observatory

Life on earth depends on healthy soils. Yet the new Soil Health dashboard of the EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) estimates that 61.5% of EU soils are unhealthy, with strong implications for the supply of ecosystem services that keep us alive. With the EUSO Soil Health Dashboard, the JRC provides a spatial assessment of where unhealthy soils may be located in the EU – and which degradation processes affect them. The EUSO Soil Health Dashboard uses a convergence of evidence methodology, which spatially combines datasets to highlight the intensity and location of 15 soil degradation processes. The resulting map shows, for the first time, where current scientific evidence converges to indicate areas that are likely to be affected by soil degradation. The EUSO Dashboard also shows that the majority of unhealthy soils is in fact to be subject to more than one type of soil degradation, an important finding for the soil restoration agenda. The loss of soil organic carbon (48%), the loss of soil biodiversity (37.5%), and soil erosion by water (32%) are the most prevalent types of soil degradation. The EUSO Soil Health Dashboard will evolve as new scientific data become available (e.g. Horizon Europe’s Soil Mission projects) and with the implementation of EU and national soil policies, in particular the forthcoming EU Soil Health Law  

Read the report: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/esdacviewer/euso-dashboard


With its widespread recognition, soil is a natural resource that offers a vast variety of services. Soil offers components utilized practically everywhere, from the deep extraction of fossil fuels (usage of smectite clay in oil wells) to spacecraft (heat resistant ceramics). Nonetheless, it should not be forgotten that the principal function of the soil is to provide food for all life forms, both directly and indirectly, and that its health should be maintained at the highest possible level for this function. On the other hand, soil isn't seen as an environment that facilitates ecosystem services, especially in emerging economies, but rather as a piece of land to be built on. Over-settlement places a burden on agricultural lands via fertilization, irrigation, and tillage exceeding the carrying capacity for agricultural production, and soil health degrades irrevocably. The Global Soil Partnership has categorized soil threats into ten categories namely loss of organic matter, erosion, contamination, loss of biodiversity, sealing, acidification, salinization-sodification, compaction, unbalanced nutrition, and waterlogging. Among these, it is clear that the soil sealing is the source of the tragedy for both the soil and the people living in the earthquake zone. Soil-related rules and regulations essentially address scientifically appropriate uses. Yet, public pressure on land committees that will apply these rules and regulations frequently results in the required licenses to liberate agricultural areas for construction. The most striking fact, however, is that while first-class agricultural lands were made available for settlement in the earthquake zone, efforts were also made to develop fields with agricultural productivity limitations like depth and slope. In fact, the situation is so tragic that one might even make the case that multi-story apartments are the best crop to be raised in earthquake-prone agricultural soils. In order to achieve high productivity in soils with limitations, this dilemma forces an excessive use of inputs like fertilizer, irrigation, and processing, which raises food prices while preventing prime soils from breathing owing to construction. In other words, viewing how decisions made in the earthquake region without taking into account the health of the soil and ecosystem severely harm both the soil and the people was the most difficult thing a soil scientist can ever witness. And I am fully aware that the soil is not to blame for this tragedy.  

Dr. Erhan Akça

Adiyaman Universitesi

Teknik Bilimler MYO, Turkiye

IUSS solidarity

The IUSS expresses solidarity and encouragement to all the dear Turkish and Syrian colleagues and to the whole population affected by the earthquake, giving auspices for a prompt recovery. For its part, the IUSS is always available to give colleagues with difficulty, support for the engagement with the IUSS activities 

First EUSO Stakeholders Forum - Young Soil Researchers Forum

A key element of the European Commission’s EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) is an open, inclusive and dynamic engagement among stakeholders.

To facilitate this interaction, we organized the first ever EUSO Stakeholder Forum, during which the first Young Soil Researchers Forum was arranged. It was a 2.5 hours meeting with 4 parallel sessions targeting specific themes with a number of presentations. The planned sessions and presentations can be consulted in the EUSO Stakeholder Forum agenda.

The 4 session themes were:

The call was open to PhD students or people who finished their PhD no longer than 3 years ago, from all over the world, with a special focus on soil research carried out in Europe.

Global Soil Biodiversity Observatory launched at COP15

During the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), FAO's Global Soil Partnership, the International Network on Soil Biodiversity and partners contributed to make soil biodiversity prominent in the negotiations and as a potential contributor to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.  Accordingly, parties endorsed the 2020–2030 Plan of Action of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity. COP15 invited FAO and its Global Soil Partnership to facilitate its implementation, together with partners. The Global Soil Biodiversity Observatory was also launched during a ministerial dialogue.  

Plan of action: https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/feeb/435c/2202483bb42af12650b184d5/cop-15-l-16-en.pdf

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1627617/


[From The Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 37, December 2022]

Conferences, Meetings and Workshops



ISC Distinguished Lecture Series: “Basic Sciences For Sustainable Development”

In order to promote the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development and to highlight the importance of basic sciences for the ISC community, the ISC GeoUnions have initiated the “Distinguished Lecture Series on Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development”.  

Read more: https://council.science/events/duality-disaster-risk-sustainable-development/

Workshop Archaeological Soil Micromorphology 2023

30-31 March 2023

Reading, UK  

Read more: https://blogs.reading.ac.uk/integrated-microscopy-approaches-in-archaeobotany/wasm-2023/

Downloads: media/workshops_archaeological_soil_micromorphology_2023.pdf

International scientific and practical conference "Integrated management and reclamation of degraded soils to ensure food security: new approaches and innovative solutions”

19-21 April 2023

National University of Uzbekistan, Tashkent city, Uzbekistan

Working languages: Uzbek, Russian, English

Deadline for accepting applications is March 10, 2023  

Applications must be sent to the email address 

Read more: media/information_letter_uzbekistan2023.pdf

4th Virtual Micromorphology Meeting (ViMi4)

26 to 27 April 2023  

ViMi4 will follow the ViMi-tradition: an informal meeting with live microscopy sessions and different breakout rooms where you can show photomicrographs, discuss features, and get feedback from other participants. We will kick-off with a keynote speech and students from undergraduate to PhD level are invited to send in their most interesting photomicrograph for the ViMi4 Photomicrograph Prize (follow the link for more information). We also created a new “What is this??” Google Group (follow the link to register) where you can ask questions to the other participants about the things you find in your thin sections or discuss other archaeological micromorphology-related topics. 

All this information and future updates can be found on the ViMi4 website. More information about the program will also be sent in a second circular. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at vimimeeting4faro@gmail.com.

Registration: https://sites.google.com/view/vimi4/registration

Read more: https://sites.google.com/view/vimi4

Download: media/vimi4_first_circular.pdf

The 5th WASWAC World Conference

19-23 June 2023

Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic  

In relation to intensive agricultural and forestry activity, climate change and other influences, soil and water in the landscape are under increasing pressure and ecosystem services are disrupted. It is therefore necessary to seek and implement measures which will mitigate the negative impact on the components of the environment, especially on soil and water, and will lead to sustainable agricultural and forestry production while also ensuring non-productive functions, in accordance with a number of international and national documents, e.g. the EU Soil Strategy until 2030.  

The 5th WASWAC World Conference will be held in 19-23 June 2023, at Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, under the auspices of the IUSS. The second announcement has been released in the official conference website https://waswac.upol.cz, and the association’s website http://www.waswac.org.cn/waswac/rootfiles/2023/02/20/1676141367471377-1676141367512918.pdf

Registration and abstract submission via the official conference website here:   https://waswac.upol.cz 

The deadline for registration and submission of abstracts at the 5th world WASWAC conference - ADAPTATION STRATEGIES FOR SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION IN A CHANGING WORLD, which we are preparing for June 2023, has been extended to March 26. The conference link is: https://waswac.upol.cz  

Soil and Water Health

The conference will be held under the auspices of the IUSS and of the European Society for Soil Conservation on Tuesday, 20th June 2023 to Thursday, 22nd June 2023 at Palazzo Sersanti, Imola, Italy.  

Registration opens 1st February 2023, https://www.geolab-aps.it/events/

Deadline for abstracts submission: April 30, 2023


Read more: https://www.geolab-aps.it/events/

Workshop Archaeological Soil Micromorphology 2023

27-30 June 2023

Utrecht, NL  

Contact Hans Huisman for further details and application:  

Read more: media/workshops_archaeological_soil_micromorphology_2023.pdf 

Wageningen Soil Conference 2023 – working together on solutions for a sustainable world

August 29th to September 1st, 2023

Wageningen, Netherlands  

Deadline for abstracts: April 17th, 2023

Wageningen University & Research and ISRIC are delighted to invite you to the fifth edition of the Wageningen Soil Conference. The conference has an interactive character with conference sessions as well as workshops on divergent soil-related topics. The focus of the conference will be on working together on solutions for a sustainable world.  

First announcement: https://old.iuss.org/media/wsc2023_first_circular.pdf

Read more: https://wageningensoilconference.eu/2023/ 

SUITMA 12 Conference

4th-7th September 2023

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The 12th edition of the SUITMA conference celebrates 25 years of the creation of the working group.  

Soils are at the center of global concerns including food security, climate change and biodiversity, and they are essential to achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, anthropic activities have altered the properties and functionality of many soils, especially during the last century, to a point that anthropogenic soils have deserved specific approaches for their study. The SUITMA12 conference will address all aspects of research on classification, properties, functioning and sustainable management of anthropogenic soils.  

Early bird registration: 15th May 2023

Read more: https://www.suitma12.com/

5th International Conference on


During 7th-10th November 2023


At NASC Complex, New Delhi, Inda


The conference aims at bringing together academicians, researchers, students, and other different stake holders from within India and abroad in the attempt to deliberate on different aspects of the subject of conservation and optimal utilization of natural resources.

It would be an opportunity to once again join hands and organize the scientific event in collaborative mode with support of International Soil Conservation Organization (ISCO), World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC), Beijing, International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) and other international and national organizations. More than 350 participants throughout the world are expected to attend the conference and deliberate.  

Abstract submission: 31st March 2023

Submission of full length papers: 15th April 2023

Intimation of acceptance of abstracts: 15th September 2023

Last date for registration (without late fees): 1st October 2023

Information contained in the circular and all updates are available at the website of SCSI http://scsi.org.in  

British Society of Soil Science Annual Conference

Belfast on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th December 2023

Event with the Soil Science Society of Ireland

Submission abstract form by Thursday 6th April 2023.

British Society of Soil Science - 2023 Annual Conference




Centennial Celebration and Congress of the IUSS 100 years of soil science - past achievements and future challenges

Sunday, 19th May 2024 to Tuesday, 21st May 2024

Florence, Italy  

The custodian of soil science will celebrate its centennial contribute to the nature and human wellbeing in 2024. The event will also empower the linkages with different disciplines, policy makers, stakeholders, institutions, and associations to effectively address civil society needs within agriculture, forestry, environment, urban planning, energy, education, and other societal issues.

The celebration will occur on May 19th and will be followed by two intense days of congress, with plenary and parallel scientific sessions. Both soil scientists and specialists from other disciplines will participate to each session, focusing on past achievements and future challenges.

The congress will be followed by technical/scientific excursions that will range from short local to long trips, spanning from Alps to Sicily. A pre-congress visit to Villa Lubin in Rome, the historical place where the IUSS was founded, is scheduled on May 18th.  

Website: https://centennialiuss2024.org/     
Download: media/iuss_2024_brochure.pdf  

New publications  


New volume of Soil Sequences Atlas (vol. 5)

The significant spatial variability of soil cover results from the diverse impacts of different soil-forming factors. This book presents pedovariability in the form of a collection of soil sequences typical of particular landscape types. The fifth part of the Soil Sequences Atlas contains description of 73 pedons grouped into 15 chapters each representing a different environmental setting specific to very diverse regions from five continents – North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. The Atlas begins by presenting a pedo-landscapes from Americas – from Mexico to Peru. Next comes a group of chapters devoted to The Mediterranean Region – Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Tunisia. The next two chapters concern the soils of Central Europe – Hungary and Poland. At the end there are examples of steppe (Russian chernozems), semi-arid (Iran) and subtropical soils of Southeast Asia (Thailand). Out of 32 reference groups, as many as 17 are represented in the fifth part of atlas Soil Sequences Atlas.  The collected data is intended as a useful educational tool in teaching soil science, and in supporting an understanding of the reasons behind the variability of soil cover, and also as a WRB classification guideline.


Free PDF version can be downloaded here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/367334985_Soil_Sequences_Atlas_V 

Advances in sensor technology for sustainable crop production

Edited by Dr Craig Lobsey, University of Southern Queensland, Australia and Professor Asim Biswas, University of Guelph, Canada. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, 21 February 2023, Hardback ISBN-13: 9781786769770


With the agricultural sector facing mounting pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, greater emphasis has been placed on improving existing components and practices, such as soil health and biodiversity, which have since emerged as key components to achieving regenerative agriculture. Sensors provide the opportunity to measure crop and soil health at unparalleled scales and resolution. Key developments in sensor technology will help improve our current understanding and optimisation of the complex agricultural systems that make up our global ecosystem.

Advances in sensor technology for sustainable crop production provides a comprehensive review of the wealth of research on key developments in sensor technology to improve monitoring and management of crop health, soil health, weeds and diseases. This collection also reviews advances in proximal and remote sensing techniques to monitor soil health, such as spectroscopy and radiometrics, as well as how sensor technology can be optimised for more targeted irrigation, site-specific nutrient and weed management.

Read more: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing | Agricultural Science in Print and Online (bdspublishing.com) 

Restoring land and soil health to ensure sustainable and resilient agriculture in the Near East and North Africa region – State of Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture thematic paper.

By Zdruli, P. and Zucca, C. 2023. Cairo, Egypt, FAO. 80 p., ISBN 978-92-5-136677-6  

The report is part of a series of background papers prepared within the context of the development of the the Near East and North Africa Region of the State of Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture (SOLAW) in the Near East and North Africa Region. The paper reflects on the status of soil degradation and fertility loss, the drivers that put pressure on soils and land in the region, the responses to address the pressing issues leveraging existing technical knowledge, as well as tools for assessment and monitoring.

Read more: https://doi.org/10.4060/cc1137en


Impact of Global Climate Change on Agriculture

by Subhash Chand, Satish Serial Publishing House, 2023. Hardcover ISBN: 9789394023185  

Read more: https://www.satishserial.com/book/9789394023185/impact-of-global-climate-change-on-agriculture

Job offers

If you are interested in working in soil sciences and related fields of expertise, please see current job offers at: https://old.iuss.org/jobs/


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WET-2 Sensor – measures moisture and nutrient content in the root zone


● Accurate soil water content, pore EC, and temperature
Minimal soil disturbance
Comprehensive set of calibrations for soils and substrates
● Available in kit form with instant readout meter and case

More information on the WET-2 Sensor

If you are interested to promote your product or book, event, job call in our Alert, please send an email to 

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Page created: 23.03.2023 | Page updated: 07.06.2023

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