The NBSOIL Project marks its first anniversary in December 2023, celebrating a year of accomplishments, including the NBSOIL MOOC, the Soil Health Index Tool, the project glossary, a pioneering batch of practice abstracts, and the NBSOIL Marketplace.
Dedicated to establishing and testing a learning pathway for existing and aspiring soil advisors, the project has not only met its initial goals but has also unveiled a series of remarkable milestones. Project partners have laid the groundwork during the inaugural year, gathering and producing knowledge to train a new wave of soil advisors and support them in implementing a holistic vision of soil health through nature-based solutions (NBS).
Among the notable achievements is the introduction of the NBSOIL Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), a comprehensive platform designed to disseminate knowledge on sustainable soil practices. This educational initiative aims to empower individuals with the latest insights and methodologies in soil health management. The NBSOIL MOOC, meticulously crafted as an extensive six-hour training programme, seeks to enhance soil literacy across the wider community, actively inviting engagement from soil advisors, land managers, and various stakeholders. It fosters dialogues on soil health and the advantages of adopting an agroecological approach, emphasising nature-based solutions (NBS).
This online course serves as an introduction to the upcoming NBSOIL Academy, set for launch in 2024. The two-year blended learning initiative aims to educate and enhance the skills of the next generation of soil advisors. The NBSOIL Academy will deliver an immersive, interactive, and flexible learning experience, targeting a minimum of 300 soil advisors.
The NBSOIL MOOC, meticulously crafted as an extensive six-hour training programme, aims to boost soil literacy, actively engaging soil advisors, land managers, and stakeholders in dialogues on soil health and the benefits of an agroecological approach, with a focus on nature-based solutions (NBS).
Throughout the training, participants will explore four advanced modules: soil and NBS, soil health and living labs, digital tools, and decision-making. Additionally, participants will undertake a final project as part of their coursework. The course content will be accessible in seven languages: English, Polish, German, Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish.
The NBSOIL Soil Health Index Tool
The project proudly unveils the first version of the NBSOIL Soil Health Index Tool. This online instrument is oriented towards the next generation of soil advisors and farmers, integrating quantitative measurement data from various sources, primarily laboratories, but also on-farm digital tools, satellite information, etc. It informs them about achievements and progress in soil health function, specifically the mitigation of soil threats, at the field scale.
The key outcome of the soil health index tool is a quantitative estimation of soil functions. The initial version of the index tool, based on an expert-based scoring system and arable soil data collected in Austria, has been developed for eight soil indicators. These indicators are individually scored and visualized in a spider diagram. The NBSOIL Soil Health Index Tool prototype can be checked here.
Furthermore, The NBSOIL Project celebrates its first year by presenting a meticulously curated project glossary. This resource ensures a standardized understanding of key terms and concepts within the field, enhancing communication among project collaborators. The glossary is available online in all project languages: English, Polish, German, Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish.
As part of its commitment to practical application, the project releases its first batch of practice abstracts, consolidating real-world insights and experiences in soil management. These abstracts, derived from on-the-ground implementation of sustainable practices, contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field. The first batch of practice abstracts developed within NBSOIL Project will be available online soon in this website and they are a basis for furthers construction of a comprehensive handbook of nature-based soil solutions.
Last but not least, the NBSOIL Marketplace emerges as a dynamic platform for stakeholders to collaborate among soil advisors, researchers, land managers, and stakeholders, sharing ideas, knowledge, and services related to soil health. The NBSOIL Marketplace is hosted on the TriplePerformance.fr platform, designed for the dissemination of agroecological practices among farmers and advisors. This platform will allow both the capitalisation of structured knowledge with its wiki system and bottom-up collaborative interactions.