What is ECHO?

ECHO is a Research and Innovation Action co-funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe programme, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It will last 4 years – from June 2023 to May 2027.

The project aims to engage citizens in protecting and restoring soils by building their skills and enhancing their knowledge on soils. Citizens will actively contribute to the project’s data collection, promote soil stewardship, and foster behavioural change across the EU.

ECHOREPO, a long-term open access repository with a direct link to the EU Soil Observatory, will enable the citizen science data collected during ECHO to be available for use not only by scientists, but also by the general public, policy makers, farmers, landowners and other end-users, providing added value to existing data and other relevant soil monitoring initiatives. ECHOREPO will provide valuable information about the state of soil health across EU Member States, helping citizens make informed decisions about land use and conservation.

With 16 partners from Europe and Scotland, including 10 leading universities and research organisations, 4 SMEs and 2 Foundations, under the coordination of the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, ECHO aims to collect data from up to 16,500 sites across Europe and Scotland in different climate and biogeographic regions.

ECHO Objectives


ECHO at Nati00ns in Rome

On 13 May 2024, the national event on the Soil Mission of the European Union – “100 Living Labs and Lighthouses for Soil Health – Funding Opportunities 2024” was held in Rome. The


ECHO Partners

ECHO is a shared effort of 16 partners from all over Europe and Scotland, including leading universities, research centres, SMEs, and foundations.

ECHO Activities and Tools

ECHO Outcomes

years, from 2023 to 2027
partners from all over Europe
tailor-made citizen science initiatives
sites assessed

Why is ECHO important?

While often overlooked, soil is the cornerstone of life on Earth. Soil plays a crucial role in regulating our planet’s health and provides multiple benefits to society. However, this essential resource is under a range of threats including a changing climate, erosion, and a loss of fertility with consequences that include reduced crop yields, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity loss.

The “Soil Deal for Europe” Mission recognises the urgent need for research and innovation to protect and restore soil health via sustainable interventions. Achieving this ambitious goal requires knowledge and awareness of the importance of long-term soil health and the the value of soil to society. Through cooperation across Europe, the Mission aims to accomplish the transition towards healthy soils by 2030.

Engaging citizens in soil science: the road to healthier soils.

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