How can we ensure that our soils and living environments remain healthy, attractive and fit for purpose? By applying innovations and coming up with viable and affordable solutions, we are helping to create more sustainable and hospitable environments. The sustainable use of landscapes and their associated ecosystem services is a core part of this. Social and governance processes determine how water, soil and various associated ecosystem services are used. For example, intensive agricultural use has significantly reduced the quality and productivity of soils. We need a better understanding of how to sustainably design, use and manage soil systems (including coastal regions and seas) and their associated ecosystems to ensure that our environment is appropriately organised as a whole. We use applied research to study in particular the process by which we can reach decisions that are widely supported by society as a whole.
The CoPSEL group is focused on knowledge creation, participatory governance and social dialogue through partnerships set in open innovation systems such as ‘Living Labs’, bringing together the private sector, civil society, universities or research institutes and the government.
This applied research group is focused on improving the environmental sustainability of landscapes by developing climate-friendly ecosystem management systems in delta regions and the systems that supply them. The objective is to achieve green landscapes in which the management and enrichment of ecosystem services can go hand in hand with economic benefits for individuals.
This applied research group works to strengthen the circular economy and the sustainable management of agricultural systems. Its research is focused on the use and re-use of organic materials for sustainable crop production, limiting and adapting to climate change, and water-retention capacity.
The applied research group on Sustainable Soil Management is focused on the major research challenges related to making soil management ‘healthy’ in both economic and ecological terms. This requires an integrated and collaborative approach involving universities and research institutes, businesses and governments.