The BioSoil demonstration project is one of the studies initiated in response to the stipulations of Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No. 2152/2003
(Forest Focus) to develop the monitoring scheme by means of studies, experiments, demonstration projects, testing on a pilot basis and establishment of new monitoring activities. The aim of the BioSoil project is to demonstrate how a large-scale European study can provide harmonised soil and biodiversity data and contribute to research and forest related policies. It directly supports achieving the objectives of the monitoring scheme of assessing “the requirements for and develop the monitoring of soils, carbon sequestration, climate change effects and biodiversity, as well as protective functions of forests” (Forest Focus, Article 1(1)b). The first ideas concerning the project were suggested by experts from EU Member States. Details on the scientific and technical aspects were finalized during the 1st
meeting of the BioSoil expert group held at the JRC, Ispra on 13.-14. December, 2004 (FSCC, 2004). The results of the expert meeting were discussed at the level of the Standing Forestry Committee on 22. December, 2004. The project started in November 2006 for the duration of 3 years, of which the first 2 years were allocated to conducting the ground survey and laboratory analysis and the last year specifically for data validation and system management. It was undertaken as part of an Administrative Arrangement of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Directorate General Environment (DG ENV).
The demonstration project comprises two main modules:
- Soil Module;
- Biodiversity Module.
Both modules use a common site for sampling data. The locations of the sites should make use of the existing network of sites for monitoring the forest environment under Forest Focus / ICP Forests.