DI Sigbert Huber, © B. Groeger, Umweltbundesamt

 

 

Could you tell us about initiatives or projects that lead by example in soil management?

Luckily, there are some great examples already! I’d like to name three municipalities in Austria: Ottensheim uses soils very economically, Zwischenwasser is part of a participatory development plan and Silz is actively converting existing buildings to make a contribution.

“Boden macht Schule” (i.e. “soils in schools”) is a project that aims at raising awareness of the issue amongst pupils. Can you tell us more?

It’s incredible what soil is able to do and what each and everyone one of us can do to contribute to a sustainable management thereof. Those are important topics that need to be discussed in class! Unfortunately, they are not part of the schedule just yet. That is why it’s particularly important that experts are invited to share their knowledge with the pupils to shape their perception. Specific workshops can help kids and teenagers understand what soil means by making them experience it with all their senses: touching soil, making simple experiments, observing the animals that live in the soil or even create paintings with soil-y colours. Already we’ve been able to reach numerous schools and the kids were really excited about the program! In Vienna, those workshops are funded by the City of Vienna and hopefully Tirol is going to host them very soon as well.