During the coming three years, ISRIC will enlarge its soil reference collection with some 200 profiles. Funding comes from the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (ELI), Wageningen University, and ISRIC. The project is aimed at filling gaps in the World Soil Reference Collection, both geographically as well as taxonomically. The project will involve clustered collection of new soil profile information ─ profiles, site and soil description, soil chemical analytical and physical analysis, also spectral analyses, and necessary supporting information (e.g. high resolution photographs and soil survey reports) ─ based on targeted sampling. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with selected partner institutes worldwide, with regional soil-related mandates, to optimize efficiency of time and resources.
Upon project completion, a suite of tools/databases, with full instructions on how to use them, will be available from a single web site hosted by ISRIC – World Soil Information, the ICSU World Data Centre for Soils. All data collected, including imagery, will be made available freely accessible to the international scientific community.
The newly collected reference data, and data derived from them, may be used, for example, in support of studies on reducing soil degradation, world food supply, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from soils at national and global scale, thereby creating opportunities for new internationally funded projects. They will also be used to strengthen ISRIC’s educational program through new thematic displays in the World Soil Museum.