The 9th International Congress of the Working Group on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas (SUITMA 9)

The 9th International Congress of the Working Group on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas (SUITMA 9)

The international congress SUITMA: “Urbanization: A challenge and an opportunity for soil functions and ecosystem services” 9 was held from 22–27 May 2017 in RUDN University.

The international congress SUITMA: “Urbanization: A challenge and an opportunity for soil functions and ecosystem services” 9 was held from 22–27 May 2017 in RUDN University. Co-organizers were:

Riccardo Valentini is full professor of Forest Ecology at the University of Tuscia, Italy His expertise concern the role of land use changes and forestry in the carbon cycle, biodiversity and bioenergy. He is also involved through IPCC and governmental bodies on policies about the global carbon cycle and the role of land use changes and forestry. He is coordinator of several EU projects aiming to understand and quantify the terrestrial carbon budget and greenhouse gases emissions. He is coordinator of the EU-Proiect CARBOAFRICA. He is Doctor Honoris Causa Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, Belgium. He is a Nobel Price for Peace as member of the IPCC board. He is Director of the Impacts Division of the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and Member of the Biogeoscience Committe of the European Research Council.

KOSAKI Takashi, Tokyo Metropolitan University (651-700 QS Rank), Faculty of Urban Environmental Sciences, Division of Nature-and Culture-based Tourism, Professor Doctor of Agriculture (Kyoto University).

Dr. Peter M. Groffman , Professor CUNY Advanced Science Research Center and Brooklyn College Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Groffman's research focuses on microbial processes in an ecosystem context. His objectives are to gain insight into 1) the role that microorganisms play in ecosystem functions related to nutrient cycling, water and air quality and soil carbon storage and 2) environmental regulation of microbes. Developing conceptual and practical ecosystem contexts for this work has required a large number of study sites and strong collaborations with other scientists.

The scientific program included a plenary session, 14 thematic sessions and six round tables. The working language of the congress is English. Also SUITMA 9 provided four one-day field tours and two post-congress tours.

Sessions of the international congress SUITMA 9: “Urbanization: A challenge and an opportunity for soil functions and ecosystem services”

S.1. Problems of SUITMA diagnostic and classification

S.2. Spatial-temporal variability of urban soils features and processes

S.3. Urban soils’ functions and ecosystem services: from concepts to application

S.4. Bioremediation and reclamation of soils contaminated with oil-products, heavy metals and radionuclide

S.5. Genesis, geography, soil features and processes in SUITMAs

S.6. Biodiversity in urban soils: threats and opportunities

S.7. Policies and strategies to support and maintain urban soils’ quality

S.8. Environmental impacts assessment, standardization and certification of urban soils

S.9. Soil ecological monitoring in urban ecosystems

S.10. Biogeochemical cycles in urban soils: climate change perspective

S.11. Soil basis for urban farming

S.12. Urban soil as a cultural heritage

S.13S. Urbanization and sustainable development in Europe (Jean Monnet Session)

S.14S. Modeling and projecting sustainable development of the megalopolises: the New Moscow Project.

Round tables

T1. Advanced techniques in monitoring, assessment and modeling urban soils

T2. GIS and decision-support systems to manage urban soil resources

T3. Ecological engineering of sustainable urban soils and soil constructions

T4. Urban soils in education process

T5. Analysis of urban soil’ ecosystem services as an opportunity for scientists to communicate stakeholders and policy-makers

T6. Environmental challenges and innovations in monitoring and soil reclamation in oil and gas production, transporting and processing

Urbanization is currently among the most important land-use change trends globally. According predictions of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), more than six billion people are expected to live in cities by 2050. In response to these issues, policy agendas are focusing on achieving and maintaining optimally functioning and sustainable use of urban ecosystems for present and future generations. Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas (SUITMAs) differ substantially from natural zonal counterparts in their physical, chemical and biological features, their performed functions and supported services.

SUITMA is a working group of the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), a world-leading scientific community dedicated to investigating urban and technogenic soils. The SUITMA working group joins urban soil experts from all over the world. SUITMA has organized international congresses every two years since 2001 to address different aspects of urban soil science. Nine fascinating congresses were organized in Europe, Africa, USA, Mexico and China, in Russia (for the very first time).

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