Aims of the three COST 634 Working Groups

Working Group 1: Policy Issues in the Implementation of Sustainable Land Use

The major aim of WG1 is to co-ordinate European research efforts on policies that encourage soil conservation and reduction of off-site impacts of runoff and erosion.

  • This will include pollution impacts of phosphates and herbicides that travel in association with soil.
  • Particular emphasis will be given to policies that lead to best practice.

Working Group 2: Sustainable Farm Scale Management

The main objective of WG2 is to conduct research on tools and methods to support decision making in the sustainable management of erosion-sensitive areas at the farm level. The research efforts aim to:

  • identify suitable indicators for assessing the sustainability of different management practices with special emphasis on runoff, soil erosion, loss of organic matter and phosphorus transport,
  • compile a catalogue of regionally adapted best management and soil conservation practices, and, where necessary, develop adequate management techniques,
  • develop tools to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of agricultural management and soil conservation practices, delivering data like gross margin and potential water erosion risk,
  • conduct an integrated analysis of available data to check interrelated effects with other economic and environmental targets at farm level.

Working Group 3: Catchment Integration of On- and Off-Site Effects

WG3 research focuses on catchment integration, relating to the accumulation and generalisation of field and farm scale processes. These include:

  • Runoff generation and accumulation for catchment areas
  • Soil erosion, transport and deposition on hillsides and downstream / off-site.
  • Transport of non-point source nutrients and pollutants associated with sediment, principally but not only phosphorus.
  • Transport of Soil Organic Matter and associated nutrients (Carbon and Nitrogen)

Ongoing research which is being assessed and synthesised includes:

  • Modelling, including particular attention to up-scaling and to the representation of field to farm-scale heterogeneity at the catchment scale; adaptation of existing Models in a format usable by all range of potential users
  • Monitoring, including collation and analysis of existing data
  • Field experiments to evaluate water, sediment and nutrient/ pollutant transfers.