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Human induced Land Degradation

  • 10 - 26 May 2024
  • All day
  • Portugal
  • Geosciences, Social Sciences & Economics
  • 4.3 ECTS

Human induced soil degradation is a very actual and increasing problem all over the world. Population growth, unsustainable management of natural resources as well as increasing amounts of harmful chemicals in the environment lead to severe land and soil degradation. The phenomenon of soil degradation has to be considered in a socio-ecological context with respect to economic, cultural and social conditions. In this course, we use an interdisciplinary approach to learn about the different syndromes of soil degradation in different countries of the world and their consequences for people and the environment. Furthermore, we look for solutions and sustainable management strategies.

Contents

The course will be highly interactive. To start, students will present a soil degradation syndrome that occurs in their home country, its effects on people and environment and work out possible methods for scientific research and practical solutions. Discussion will continue in Portugal, the destination of the excursion component, on the Portuguese soil degradation related topics.

These topics will focused not only in the causes and results of soil degradation, but also in alternatives that can help to prevent and ameliorate the degradation of the land. Both problems and solutions will be directly experienced by the participants as they will be guided in each place by experts in each topic. There will be ample space for discussions with stakeholders in affected areas which hopefully will lead to interdisciplinary visions of the situations and how possible solutions could be implemented in real life.

Goals

The course is interactive, that means that students present a special soil degradation syndrome that occurs in their home country, its effects on people and environment and work out possible methods for scientific research and practical solutions. Therefore, we get an overview of the soil degradation phenomena in different countries and compare these with the syndromes present in Portugal. Discussions with stakeholders in affected areas in Portugal will lead to interdisciplinary visions of the situation and how possible solutions could be implemented in real live.

After completing the workshop, students will be able to:

  • Acquire theory of the different soil treats amd syndromes of soil degradation, and their effects on the people and environment.
  • Apply the intercultural and interdisciplinary approach to compare syndromes in the different countries of the world, their concequences and possible prevention and remediation strategies.
  • Acquire practical experience with soil degradation and its consequences, and designing solutions in Portugal.
  • Distinguish between theoretical and realistic solutions.

Programme

Students will get a first introduction to the subject in Wageningen and Bonn in the 10 May 2024. In groups of 2 persons, the participants will select a topic related to the EU Soil Legislation (2023), the FAO 2015 report on Status of the World’s Soil Resources, and the WOCAT database on sustainable soil management approaches. Each group will prepare an oral presentation, in English, about chemical, physical or biological soil degradation problems in their home countries and remediation efforts. The presentations should be prepared bearing an interdisciplinary approach in mind and should include the effects of soil degradation on both environment and people health, their impact on economics and possible preventive and/or curative solutions.

The seminars and excursions will happen in Portugal, from 18 to 26 May.

  • PE&RC and WIMEK, Wageningen UR
  • Once every three years
  • Violette Geissen (WUR), Johannes Botschek (U.Bonn), Inês Amorim Leitão (WUR), António Ferreira (IPC-ESA), Jan Jacob Keizer (U.Aveiro), Nelson Abrantes (U.Aveiro), Maria do Carmo Horta (IPCB-ESA), Natália Roque (IPCB-ESA), Gottlieb Bash (U.Évora)
  • Up to 20 people
  • PhD students from WIMEK / PE&RC / WASS: €555(early)
    Others: €1668
  • 31 March 2024