What is ECHO?

ECHO is a Research and Innovation Action co-funded by the European Union, under the Horizon Europe programme. 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. Citizens will actively contribute to the project’s data collection, promote soil stewardship and foster behavioural change across the EU. 

The ECHOREPO, a long-term open access repository with a direct link to the EUSO, will make the citizen science data available for exploitation 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 in various regions, helping citizens make informed decisions about land use and conservation. 

With 16 partners from all over Europe, including 10 leading universities and research centres, 4 SMEs and 2 Foundations, under the coordination of the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, ECHO will assess 16,500 sites in different climate and biogeographic regions to achieve its ambitious goals.

ECHO Objectives



This November, Project ECHO had the opportunity to be introduced to a large audience during the Mission Soil Week in Madrid, Spain. We’re happy to report that ECHO made its mark among other


Green Transformation in Sandomierz

This October, project ECHO reached Sandomierz, Poland and the “Green transformation of rural areas” conference. It was attended by scientists and educators, as well as local government representatives – all eager to share


ECHO Partners

ECHO is a shared effort of 16 partners from all over Europe, 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?

Soil is a vital, yet often disregarded, resource that supports life on Earth by providing the foundation for agriculture, forests, and various other natural ecosystems. However, soil degradation is a growing concern around the world, and it can have severe consequences for our planet, such as reduced crop yields, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and decreased bio-diversity.

The “Soil Deal for Europe” Mission recognises an 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, its value and challenges. 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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