Agrifood & Biodiversity

CulturePolis has lately been active particularly in agri-foods & biodiversity issues under the dimension of sustainability, offering hospitality to groups of researchers and professionals working in these areas. In this context, the organization is participating as a partner in a “citizen science” pan-European project for growers, gardeners, family and small-scale farmers and space scientists.
The Observatory GROW (GROW Observatory) is a massive, pan-European project that aims to include tens of thousands of “citizen-scientists” to empower the community with knowledge associated with sustainable farming practices, and contribute significantly to a global overview of the environment. Citizens from across the continent are invited to jointly solve a basic challenge for environmental monitoring: the systematic measurement of soil moisture at a high spatial resolution and geographically broad areas- while sharing knowledge on cultivation among different regions of Europe. The Observatory aims to increase small-scale food production and maintain soil quality for future generations, and to simultaneously improve the ability to predict extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods.
Led by the University of Dundee in Scotland and with partners throughout Europe, the GROW Observatory has received funding of € 5 million over the next three years through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program for research and innovation. Growers and citizen scientists will participate in the project, which starts on November 1, 2016, with the participants contributing in co-creating experiments during the 2017 growing season.
The aim of GROW is to support smart and sustainable protection of land and soil, in order to meet future demands on rural food production. It also aims to respond to a long-term challenge of space science, contributing to the analysis and validation of soil moisture measurements from satellites. GROW will look for ways in which these collectively acquired data can contribute to the development of services and applications that will help predict extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods and the proper preparation towards them.
See the detailed press release here, and more information about the project at: http://growobservatory.org/

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