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Stepping on invisible land: on the importance of communicating the value of soils

To better understand people’s perception of the soil, we conducted interviews and dynamics in Poland and Brazil. We found that most respondents associate the soil with the surface where plants grow and with some specific ecosystem services. Most said they needed to increase understanding of the importance of the resource and highlighted the need for greater engagement of young people.

Taking this result as a starting point and seeking to expand knowledge about the benefits of soil from an interesting and innovative approach, we developed a song, two documentary short films, and two artistic workshops. In addition to the purpose of scientific dissemination, the last two initiatives were also used to collect data on the perception of the soil. This is a new approach to engaging relevant stakeholders and promoting more sustainable resource management.


Watch the documentaries, listen to the music, and enjoy the painting results:

Soils and Society

With an interesting and innovative proposal for collecting and disseminating scientific information, the video presents testimonials from local residents, tourists, and visiting scientists about their perceptions of the soil and their personal relationship with the resource in four different ecosystems in Rio de Janeiro state.

Artistic Activity with Soils

Uniting science with the arts, the video portrays two artistic activities carried out with soil materials by two different groups: scientists and health professionals on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. It explains how the workshops were designed and conducted, as well as how the soil and other natural elements were collected and prepared. In addition, participants’ statements were recorded about what they sought to represent in their paintings and what meanings they attributed to the soil. Finally, a song is presented seeking to draw attention to the importance of the resource. The paintings will also be used for exhibitions at universities, botanical gardens, schools, and research institutions related to soil-oriented education in Rio de Janeiro.

Related Themes

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Related Partners (2)

Centro de Ciências da Conservação e Sustentabilidade do Rio (CSRio) Newton Fund Advanced Fellowship