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Reaping the benefits of healthy soils for people, food, nature and climate.

The EU soil strategy for 2030 sets out a framework and concrete measures to protect and restore soils, and ensure that they are used sustainably. It sets a vision and objectives to achieve healthy soils by 2050, with concrete actions by 2030. It also announces a new Soil Health Law by 2023  to ensure a level playing field and a high level of environmental and health protection.

The new EU soil strategy for 2030 is a key deliverable of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. It will contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal. Healthy soils are essential for achieving climate neutrality, a clean and circular economy and halting desertification and land degradation. They are also essential to reverse biodiversity loss, provide healthy food and safeguard human health.

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Signed memorandum for cooperation between Association Ambrozija and University Goce Delchev Shtip

Based on activities and measures for sustainability of the project results defined in Long-Term Monitoring Plan for Cross-border Region of Republic North Macedonia, developed within of the project “Identification and monitoring of contaminated soils through the application of innovative methodology (MCSoil)” № CB006.1.11.023, in July 2021, Association Ambrozija and University Goce Delchev Shtip have signed a Memorandum of cooperation.

Partnership cooperation and  mutual support from both sides for performing of regular monitoring of defined areas are elaborated within the Memorandum, Association Ambrozija is providing equipment supplied within the project and University Goce Delchev Shtip is providing expertise for implementation of monitoring activities. Periodically monitoring will be implemented in selected areas of East and South East Planning Region in cross-border area of Republic of North Macedonia, and students from the University will be actively involved in the activity.

Presentation of the Results of the Analysis of the Degree of Soil Pollution by Magnetic Susceptibility in the Framework of the Ninth International Conference “Modern Trends in Science” (FMNS-2021)

The results and outcomes of the analysis of the degree of contamination of soil cover, by means of magnetic susceptibility, developed in the frame of project “Identification and Monitoring of Contaminated Soils using Innovative Methodology” with acronym (MCSoil) № CB006.1.11.023, have been presented in the frame of the Ninth International Conference “Modern Trends in Science” (FMNS-2021),  organized by the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” – Blagoevgrad. The Conference was conducted on 15th – 16th  September 2021. The event was attended by representatives of Bulgaria, Russia, Italy, Check Republic, Germany, Great Britain etc., distributed in several scientific fields: Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Ecology and Environmental Protection, Mathematics, Informatics, Technical Sciences, Methodology in Education.

The report emphasizes on the soil magnetic susceptibility properties as indicators of heavy metals pollution in Bobov dol Termal Power plant area. The focus of discussion is on the method for magnetic susceptibility screening for implementation of a new methodology for identification and monitoring of contaminated soils.

Soil testing and monitoring carried out during the period of project’s implementation was fulfiled using a specialized and up-to-day equipment for field measurements, which is designed for rapid, reliable and cost-effective assessment of the magnetic susceptibility, consistent with the natural soil conditions in the both regions. The exact methodology which is used for assessment of the pollution was presented and discussed as well.

The pilot tool for soils samples collection, processing, analyzing and data representation, is based on innovative geophysical methods for cost-effective, sensitive and fast evaluation of the environmental quality of soils. The main advantage of this new methodology is its high sensitivity and possibility for smart adaptation of the method according to the respective site and the existing problem. Also, this method is much faster and cheaper than the traditionally used chemical analysis.

Signed memorandum for cooperation between Association “Renewable Energy Sources Cluster” (RES Cluster) and Southwest University “Neofit Rilski” – Blagoevgrad

As part of the activities that ensure the sustainability of the project “Identification and monitoring of contaminated soils through the application of innovative methodology (MCSoil)” № CB006.1.11.023, as well as on the basis of the Plan for long-term soil monitoring developed within of the project, in June 2021, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Association “Renewable Energy Sources Cluster” (RES Cluster) and Southwest University “Neofit Rilski” – Blagoevgrad.

The signing of the memorandum is a sign of a strengthening partnership and development of mutual cooperation between the two parties. The main goal is to create a practical framework for cooperation between the participants and joining our efforts with regards to addressing some of the current soil pollution challenges.

The activities in the frame of the memorandum that are related to exploration, pilot tests and soil quality monitoring control are going to be carried out through the use of specialized equipment purchased by the project funds provided and used to carry out project activities. RES Cluster will provide the equipment to the Southwest University “Neofit Rilski” free of charge.

The activities, that are a part of the memorandum, cover the South-Western region of the Republic of Bulgaria, including the districts of Sofia – city, Sofia, Pernik, Kyustendil and Blagoevgrad.

The cooperation between the two parties will support the scientific and technical provision of practical classes in a number of disciplines, studied at the university, as mentioned the memorandum.

The use of innovative technological solutions to assess the ecological condition of the soil cover, as provided by the equipment described in the memorandum, would contribute to increasing the knowledge and skills of students studying in the relevant fields. Some of the priority indicative activities include monitoring of the magnetic susceptibility of the selected landfills, in accordance with the Long-Term Monitoring Plan developed within the MCSoil project, as well as monitoring of the magnetic susceptibility of river and lake sediments, undertaken during practical classes in the respective disciplines.

The cooperation, that is going to be realised through the activities within the memorandum framework, aims to support the promotion of initiatives for the successful waste management, environmental protection and fostering environmentally friendly attitudes and practices among young people and adolescents in the region.

 The project was successfully implemented in the period July 2019 – October 2020 by the AssociationRenewable Energy Sources Cluster” in partnership with the Center for Medicinal Herbs and Berries – Ambrosia from Pehchevo, Northern Macedonia, within INTERREG-IPA Cross-border Cooperation Program Bulgaria – Northern Macedonia, CCI Number: 2014TC16I5CB006.

The aim of the project initiatives was to assess the current state and specific needs of the region regarding the existing and potential soil pollution. The project activities were focused on the development of a joint mechanism for environmental protection, by identifying and monitoring contaminated soil areas, through the application of innovative methodology. The pilot tool for soil sampling, processing, analysis and data presentation is based on innovative geophysical methods for cost-effective, sensitive and rapid assessment of soil quality in the environment. The main advantage of this innovative methodology is its high sensitivity and ability to adapt the method according to the specifics of the place and the existing problem. Also, the method works much faster and more economically than traditionally used chemical analysis.

The implemented project activities contributed to raising the awareness and knowledge of the representatives of the target groups and stakeholders of the project in connection with the condition of soil resources in the border region of Bulgaria and the Republic of Northern Macedonia, as well as improving the efficiency of soil resource management.

The Association Ambrozija participated on the National Climate Conference

Representatives of the Ambrosia Association participated of the National Climate Conference held from 29th March till 9th  April 2021 online via Zoom platform. In the framework of the conference, on April 5, a workshop was held to define priorities in the implementation of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, for the biodiversity sectors and reducing air, water and soil pollution.

At the workshop, which had an interactive character, the President of the Association, Ambrosia Jasminka Pashaliska-Andonovska, shared with the participants the results of the project “Identification and monitoring of contaminated soils using innovative methodology” (MCSoil), as well as the long-term monitoring plan prepared within the project. for following the situation with soil pollution in the cross-border area in the Republic of North Macedonia.

The application of this methodology for monitoring the content of heavy metals in the topsoil is a tool that will contribute to better control of local communities over the activities of government institutions responsible for environmental protection and quality control.

Representatives of the Ambrosia Association contributed also in defining the priorities for the implementation of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, especially in the soil pollution sector, which will be extremely important in the coming period.

How to mitigate the effects of climate change and how important it is those activities to be part of policies and activities in all sectors, were the topics discussed at the National Climate Conference, organized by Eco Svest and CNVP and Ecologists Movement, with financial support from the European Union.