school background with supplies

CURIOSOIL, a new large-scale initiative - your help is needed

seedlings are growing from the rich soil

Soil + Education = time for emancipating our undergrounds

A brand-new pan-European initiative has been launched at the cross-roads of education and soil. The ultimate aim is to embed soil health in all education levels throughout Europe. ESHA is also involved in the project CURIOSOIL, managed by Portugal’s University of Aveiro.

Help needed in 20 countries

The first step of the project is the assessment of all education levels in twenty countries as to what extent soil health knowledge is integrated in curricula and each country’s education policy. All really means all here: pre-school, primary, secondary, vocational, tertiary BS/MS, post-tertiary and life-long learning. No matter the format. Voluntary or obligatory. Fragmented or well-balanced. Theoretical or tacit. Are you still here? Good, because it’s too much work for ESHA and our handful of partners alone, so here is where you come in.

We expect soil health knowledge only to be fragmentarily embedded in Europe’s curricula – if present at all. Please help us get this a bit more precise. Soil expert or not, you may have some experience with soil health education – or with the absence of it.

About fifteen Q’s per country

To guide you a bit, ESHA has written a list of questions for each country to answer:

  • How does your country educate at all?

  • How does it educate soil health (if it does)?

  • What’s the soil awareness per education type?

  • Is soil awareness scattered across disciplines or balancing perspectives?

  • Are soil theory and experience two worlds apart or well-connected?

  • Do soil education objectives match budgets, methods, course materials and whatever else it takes to teach?

  • Are there historic landmarks in soil health awareness in your country?

  • Is soil education adapted to geography?

  • Are courses/modules targeting stakeholders?  

  • What’s the level of dynamics?

  • A near stand-still? Developing gradually? Rapid change? Chaos?

  • What is foreseen for the near future?

  • What attitude would you expect the moment soil health education is intensified?

  • Do or do you not expect a willingness to adapt the educational routines?

  • Do you expect an easy adoption? Resistance?

The countries to be assessed are Spain, Italy, Croatia, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Portugal, Swiss, Slovenia, Denmark, France, Romania, Ukraine, and Finland.

The need to return to healthy soils again

So why is soil suddenly that important? According to the experts, soil health has been neglected for too long, resulting in a range of sustainability problems today. Biodiversity – did you know life in healthy undergrounds ought to be a magnitude richer than above? Hydrology. Erosion. Fertility. You name it. Since the chemical revolution in the 18th century, mankind has thought to be master of the undergrounds and throughout Europe that has resulted something anything but sustainable.

You can check the project Curiosoil’s website here. You can check our questions for your country here. You can ask for help concerning this topic at or

How can you contribute?

We are happy with whatever input you can give us. Be it in the form of a one-on-one conversation, some text and explanation that you write directly into our research document, or some articles and other sources that you send over via e-mail. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your potential contribution.

No time – no future

We know you don’t have time for this. We know you think you are not an expert in this. Still, we ask for your help. Because it is time to fill a gap. It is time to return to healthy soils. Thanks for any sign of co-operation.

Harry te Riele / Puck de Boer