We are working on different topics in soil science. Please check our commissions and working groups.
The German Soil Science Society (DBG) consists of around 2,200 members who are involved in the scientific study of soil. Our specialised society is a network of people and institutions involved in the soil sciences and their diverse fields of application. This includes co-operation and knowledge-based advice, professional stimulation and information as well as an open and free exchange of opinions and information. Our aim is also to promote young scientists and to inform broad sections of the population about soils, their functions in the ecosystem and their diverse ecosystem services. We are also committed to maintaining and promoting relationships with scientific societies and associations related to soil and neighbouring disciplines in Switzerland and abroad.
Photo: S. Reichhold/DBG.
As the new President of the German Soil Science Society, together with the Executive Board team I am looking forward to the diverse and exciting tasks that lie ahead of us in 2024. The wide range of events organised by our commissions and working groups (see "Events") once again shows how lively our society is. It is great to see how many soil scientists are involved with such enthusiasm, be it in organising conferences and workshops, in carrying out excursions, in activities related to the "Soil of the Year" and other soil-awareness raising actions, or in providing information and advocating for our soils via social media. Here, I explicitly wish to thank our Scientific Director Ilka Engell for the superb complete redesign of the website and the introduction of the professional newsletter.
As a national society, the DBG is also part of an international network, in particular within the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and the European Confederation of Soil Science Societies (ECSSS). In this respect, an extraordinary international highlight this year is the congress in Florence in May to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS). As the German Soil Science Society (DBG) was founded just two years later, the first preparations to celebrate the DBG centennial in 2026 have already begun.
At the conference in Florence, for the first time a "Soil of the Year" will be proclaimed at international level. Meanwhile, the "Soil of the Year" campaign will soon be celebrating its twentieth anniversary in Germany: in December 2004, the Schwarzerde (soil type incl. Chernozems and Phaeozems) was proclaimed as the first "Soil of the Year" 2005. Since then, the "Soil of the Year" campaign has developed into the public-awareness raising activity receiving the greatest public attention. Nevertheless, we must recognise that soil protection continues to play a subordinate role in the planning process of projects. The large-scale sealing of soils - our limited, non-replicable basis of life – is progressing incessantly. It does not even stop at the very best and within Germany only very limited soils, the Chernozems. A distressing example of this is the currently planned establishment of a 1,127-hectare high-tech park in the middle of the Chernozem area of the Magdeburger Börde - despite the fact that large areas of poor soils on sandy outwash plains are available not far from the planned site and are easily connectable to transportation axes.
This continued careless treatment of soils, the basis of our existence, shows that we are nowhere near reaching our goal in our endeavours to raise public awareness of soils and their fundamental functions. Together with the Bundesverband Boden (BVB) and the Engineering Association for Contaminated Site Management and Land Recycling (ITVA), the DBG wants to give soils a voice through the Soil Protection Action Platform (Abo).
We are active at various levels in order to reach a broad public. Thus, the DBG is also involved in various events, such as the Week of the Environment at Bellevue Castle in June and the DLG Field Days near Erwitte/Lippstadt (North Rhine-Westphalia) together with BONARES. The EU project SOILSCAPE (Spreading Open and Inclusive Literacy and Soil Culture through Artistic Practices and Education) will certainly provide a new, creative impetus in the area of public-awareness raising. The project, in which the DBG will be involved, will start in June. Together with the French Soil Science Society, which is coordinating the project, and other international partners such as the FIBL, UNESCO and many others, it will give us the opportunity to use creativity, art and innovative forms of public outreach to raise public awareness of soils. We are looking forward to the start of this extraordinary project with great excitement and anticipation.
Yours, Daniela Sauer
The German Soil Science Society speaks up for peace and for the right of sovereignty of all states.
In this we stand closely together with scientists of all nationalities, religions and disciplines worldwide.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in Ukraine who have to fear for their lives, as well as with the brave people in Russia who are risking their own freedom by standing up for peace.
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