Pernkopf: Lower Austria has most members of the Soil & Land Alliance in the whole of Europe
Within the framework of activities of the soil protection network of SONDAR (Soil Strategy Network in the Danube Region), subsidized by the European Union within the framework of projects of territorial cooperation, around 150 young persons and persons responsible for projects from Austria and neighbouring states were guests in St. Poelten for a day.
Pupils from five schools in Lower Austria, Slovakia and Hungary met on December 5, the international World Soil Day, for a „Soil Workshop Day" at the Lower Austrian Provincial Museum.
Working for soil protection: 82 Lower Austrian members of Soil & Land Alliance
The Province of Lower Austria entered the European Land and Soil Alliance as an associated member in 2003. All soil activities in Lower Austria are coordinated by the Department of Rural Development. "Currently, 68 Lower Austrian municipalities and 14 associated members are organized within the Soil & Land Alliance. Healthy soil is just as important as a basis for food production, as as a living environment for the future of our youth", emphasized Dr. Stephan Pernkopf, Regional Minister of the Environment on the occasion of the 2012 World Soil Day.
Current key aspects of soil
Besides the current service activity for creation of awareness of soil in Lower Austrian municipalities and schools, international project cooperation with Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic form the core of soil activities. Almost EUR 2.1 mio. will be mainly financed by the European Union until 2014. The SONDAR SK project provides for results on an interaction between soils and flood events in the region of the Morava river. SONDAR HU investigates soil with respect to its capabilities as a filter of pollutants and its storage capacity of carbon. The SONDAR CZ project deals with possibilities of avoiding soil erosion.
Activities for an increased awareness of soil take place in all three projects, such as, for instance, "painting with the Colours of the Earth". Here children and young persons are instructed to deal with ancient natural techniques of extraction and use of soil colours, which are directly gained from soil. Our soil, in any case, is an archive of the culture and history of our forefathers, also beyond national borders. The great interest in this topic is shown by approx. 35,000 children and young persons, who have participated in the "soil colour creative competitions" in the project region in the past few years.
Photos: © Department of Rural Development / Nadja Meister
26. & 27.3.2014
21st Conference of the Working Community of the Danube Regions
in Tulln an der Donau (Austria)
14. - 16.5.2014
ELSA & SONDAR CZ-AT Conference
in Lednice (Czech Republic)
Bernhard Kuderer, MSc.
Soil and Energy Network of European Countries - BIENE Association
0043 676 751 33 73
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