About the Award
Sustainable land and soil management is central to improve our food systems, maintain a healthy environment and ensure European rural development. Indeed, soils, through their structure and the great variety of species they host, perform numerous functions including food production, nutrient and water storage, filtering, buffering as well as breaking down and conserving organic matter. They also play a central role in the protection of water and in the natural exchange of gases with the atmosphere. Moreover, soils are biological habitats, gene pools, elements of landscapes and of cultural heritage as well as providers of raw materials. They are therefore crucial for agriculture and for all human beings as well as for nature itself, and are the foundation of our health and our wealth. Soils are as such part of Europe’s greatest treasures, thus, it is important to promote and reward practices which contribute to their protection.
The prize rewards land use and soil management practices mitigating soil threats i.e. soil degradation, erosion, reduction of organic matter content, diffuse contamination, and compaction as well as the reduction of soil biodiversity, salinization, sealing, flooding and landslides. In doing so, the award sheds light on outstanding achievements, encouraging new concepts of land and soil protection and their implementation in land management, as well as enhancing awareness about the importance of land and soil functions.
Who can apply?
Farmers, landowners, land managers, groups of farmers, on their own or in collaboration with research institutes, universities and/or private companies.
Why to apply?
To recognize the great value of the farmer’s work, by promoting the winning project as a good practice at the EU level. Also, to enhance the visibility of such ways of farming at the local, national as well as European scale and to encourage the farmers to further develop their work in a sustainable path.
5.000 € as well as a diploma of recognition are awarded to the winning project every year.
How to apply?
The call for applications is currently closed. The next call will be opened in September 2017 with the application deadline December 31, 2017.
The award is bestowed to the winner every year during the Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) Gala Dinner.
Please note: the application should preferably be filled out in English. If the applicant chooses other language a well-structured English summary of the project should be enclosed.
This award has been launched in 2008 by the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), under the auspices of the European Commission (DG Environment and the Joint Research Centre) and in association with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) of Vienna, Syngenta International AG, as well as the Centre for Soil and Environmental Sciences of the Ljubljana University. Since then, the award jury has selected outstanding achievements throughout the European Union in the field of sustainable soil and land management.
|Year||Project name||Location||Name of applicant|
|2016/2017||Healthy Soil for Healthy Food||Austria||59 Austrian farmers, SPAR and WWF Austria|
Creating new land and soil management opportunities under Mediterranean soil and climatic limitations
|2014/2015||Soil Regeneration at West Woodhay Farms||UK||West Woodhay Farms|
|2013/2014||The Pontbren Project||Wales||Pontbren Farmers Group|
|2012/2013||Global approach for a sustainable agroecosystem||France||E.A.R.L. LEFEBVRE|
|2011/2012||Certified course “soil practitioner” for crop and grassland farmers||Austria||Bio Austria (group of farmers)|
|2010/2011||The Land Stewardship Network||Spain||Jordi Pietx|
|2009/2010||Little things mean a lot||Iceland||Erlendur Björnsson|
|2008/2009||Jistebnice Highlands||Czech Republic||Jana Maděrová|
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