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Soil contributions to the UN-sustainable development goals
Convener: Johan Bouma 
Thu, 21 Apr, 19:00–20:00

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's), accepted by the UN general Assembly in September 2015, present a unique opportunity for the soil science community to show important contributions of the profession to achieve at least six of the Goals with a land-based character. These Goals relate to food security, water protection, climate mitigation, human health,biodiversity protection and soil conservation and require cooperation with the corresponding scientific disciplines. Soil science is in a unique position to show that these Goals are interrelated and should be studied with a comprehensive systems analysis. The systems approach will require changes in the way the rather fragmented soil science profession is now operating. At the start of the meeting Bouma will briefly highlight some key issues: (i)need for genuine inter- and transdisciplinarity in the context of a broad systems analysis, connecting the various SDG's. Views from other scientific disciplines, represented at EGU, are welcomed.(ii)show that soil organic matter can act as a key soil attribute in interdisciplinary studies,(iii) pay more attention to effective communication to stakeholders and policy makers and to education, using modern communication technologies; (iv) guard scientific independance vis a vis the policy arena, and (v) identify and document "lighthouses" ( as defined by IPCC) that can act as specific, inspiring examples. This aspect is particularly important to illustrate connections between seperate SDG's and the gains to be obtained by effective inter- and transdisciplinary approaches. The townhall meeting is an excellent venue to discuss these issues and receive feedback.

Public information: The idea of a TownHall meeting is that participants can freely share their experiences and ideas about a certain topic,which is not always possible in the regular sessions. Bouma will present a brief intro, based on the above text and then comments will be invited that will hopefully increase common understanding.