9th Congress of the Soil Science Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina. from 23rd – 25th of November 2015, Mostar

The theme of the Congress:




The Congress is being organized for the first time since gaining independence in the 1992 to mark the International Year of Soils designated by the United Nations. Congress will provide a unique opportunity to point out to an inadequate recognition of significance of soil and raise awareness on crucial role of this natural resource for environmental quality. 


The objectives of the Congress

Soil is a non-renewable resource it has to be used in a sustainable way and its functions have to be preserved while the adverse impacts on soil must be avoided to the maximum extent. As a complex medium it is susceptible to degradation processes and vulnerable to threats that can seriously jeopardize and disable its functions in a very short period of time. The consequences may manifest through the loss of soil fertility which is further reflected on biodiversity, quality of air and water and climate change.

Globally, soil has been increasingly recognized as an essential natural resource and soil protection as one of the key environmental issues. Soil protection includes the preservation of health and functions of soil, prevention of its damage, monitoring of the soil quality condition and changes as well as remediation and restoration of damaged soils and sites. Pollution and damage of soil have the most direct impact on the environment, and determination of acceptable limiting values of soil quality is made based on specific regulations.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in the wider region, soil as a natural and economic resource is not properly recognized. Damage and loss of fertile agricultural land during the transitional period in the past two decades are becoming an increasingly huge problem. The land use and protection policy that is implemented at the national level is not in compliance with European or global level of requirements for and concerns about this natural resource.

It is obvious that the golden age of agriculture in this region is over. In this regard, there is an ever growing concern that along with agricultural the soil science will get abandoned as well. However, many publications dealing with sustainable development and survival of civilization on Earth prove exactly the opposite - a large part of humanity is still affected by hunger and the soil has a broader socio-economic and environmental significance. Soil scientists need to address all these issues and try to resolve them in connection with other associated scientific areas they normally rely on.

The soil science in BiH as well as in the wider region has been successfully developed for a long time which is evident in a number of very significant scientific conferences and published papers. Studies, scientific and research work in our conditions are mainly related to the higher education, which is going through a serious crisis, which is also observed in the entire region.

There is an increasing number of newly established public and private universities with agricultural and forestry faculties or environmental studies where the research activities are at a very low level, especially in the area of soil sciences. The current condition of agriculture and forestry as sectors is also very complex and soil functions within the ecosystem are still insufficiently recognized. Investments in agriculture and scientific and research work are very low. Consequently, the research in the area of soil is also insufficient.


The general topics of the Congress

Current issues and problems related to fundamental and applied soil researches are numerous and singling out just one priority would be very difficult. The research topics that could be recommended as a general framework for this Congress primarily include:

  • National soil classification and standardization of soil analyses in light of the new World reference base for soil resources
  • Soil fertility, reclamation soil science for the purpose of improving the land by the application of hydro and agricultural melioration; as well as the protection of soil from erosion and potential pollutants;
  • Applied research relating to soil physics and agricultural mechanics associated with the cultivation and use of mechanization in agricultural production;
  • Sustainable management of soil resources at the global and national levels which has the aim of maintaining and/or improving soil productivity with more efficient utilization. This primarily pertains to resolving the issues of land consolidation (commassation); developing the maps of land use value based on soil properties, the soil bonity maps; agro-ecological zoning and crop distribution based on soil properties (soil capability & soil suitability); and, proper use of the soil within a space in terms of sustainable development of rural areas and environmental protection, with the application of new GIS technology.

All papers in the area of land/soil that match one of the topics listed here will be welcomed and considered on an equal footing with the papers within the general topics.



Target Groups

The Congress aims to provide a discussion platform for a wide range of disciplines addressing soil issues at regional, but also European and global level.

Target groups include

  •  researchers and practitioners from soil sciences, agricultural sciences, forestry sciences, geography, landscape architecture, hydrology and water management, environmental sciences, ecology and related disciplines,
  • academics and educators involved in teaching and research from many different disciplinary perspectives,
  • members of public institutions or authorities and NGOs,
  • doctorate and masters students from related disciplines.