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LASOSU2021: an Online International Conference for Land Degradation, Soil Conservation and Sustainable Development Held in Dalian on 21-23 August, 2021

Sep 4, 2021 

By Conference Team of LASOSU2021

LASOSU2021, the International Forum on Land Degradation, Soil Conservation and Sustainable Development, 2021, was successfully held as an online conference recently. The conference is supervised by the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC), Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering (AIIA) and Soil Erosion Division of CSWCS (China) and the conference is organized by Dalian University of Technology (China) and University of Padova (Italy). Thirteen other famous institutes are involved in co-organizing the conference, e.g., the Institute of Soil and Water Conservation of CAS & MWR (China), Beijing Normal University (China), Huazhong Agricultural University (China), Xi’an University of Technology (China), Italian Association for Soil and Water Bioengineering (Italy), etc.

Thoughtful reports and hot discussions have been carried out focusing on the cutting-edge topics for the effects of climate change on land degradation, remote sensing and big data in land degradation analysis, soil conservation and sustainable development, nature-based solutions for soil and water conservation, smart monitoring information system for soil and water conservation, decision-making information system for soil and water conservation and land resource management. 259 papers have been accepted and 10 outstanding participants have been awarded in LASOSU2021.The conference programme includes a welcoming ceremony, 2 slots for keynote presentations, 1 slot for focus group discussion, 23 slots for parallel sessions, and a closing ceremony. 241 participants from 19 countries in the field of soil and water conservation and sustainable development have been involved in the online communication during 22-23 August, including 53 chairpersons, 169 oral presenters and 19 poster presenters, 82 of which are at the level of professors, and 84 of which are from outside of China. In the conference, 6 preeminent scientists, including one member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and one member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, have given keynote speeches, and another 23 experts have given solicited parallel-session presentations. During the conference, a total of 2263 participants were recorded in the VooV meeting, Innovation China, and CNKI Online Lectures.

The presidents of the Organizing Committee of LASOSU2021 are Professor Ning Duihu (International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation, China) and Professor Paolo Tarolli (University of Padova, Italy). President Ning Duihu, chaired the welcome ceremony, which was addressed by Professor Zhang Chi, Dean of the Faculty of Infrastructure Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Mr. Li Weiguo, Director of the Water Bureau of Dalian Government (China), Professor Paolo Tarolli (Italy),Chairperson of the Organizing Committee, Professor Wang Wenlong, Director of the Soil Erosion Division, CSWCS, and Professor Giacomo Scarascia Mugnozza, President of the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering. Academician Liu Jiangguo (USA), Academician Fu Bojie (China), Professor Vincenzo D'Agostino (Italy), Professor Cai Chongfa (China), Professor Paulo Alexandre da Silva Pereira (Lithuania) and Professor Roberto A Peiretti (Argentina) presented keynote speeches in the conference. Also an innovative slot, the Focus Group Discussion (FGD), was adopted in LASOSU2021. Professor Zheng Fenli (China) led an interesting discussion concerning Global Soil Conservation and Food Production together with 5 esteemed professors from 4 countries, Chi-hua Huang (USA), Liu Baoyuan (China), Paolo Tarolli (Italy), Altaf Ali Siyal (Pakistan), Wang Fei (China). It's worth noting that, the number of participants had reached the maximum capacity of 300 in a single Tencent/VooV meeting during this period. Finally, the closing ceremony was presided over by Professor Wang Wenlong. Professor Liu Xiaoying, the Secretary General of World Association of Soil and Water Conservation, announced the list of award recipients. Dr. Qin Chao from Tsinghua University (China), who won one of the outstanding papers, made a speech on behalf of the conference participants. The summary of the conference was made by Professor Federico Preti, president of Soil and Water Conservation Division of the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering, and Professor Zhang Guanghui, Vice Director of the Soil Erosion Division, CSWCS. By the end of the conference, Professor Xu Xiangzhou, the head of the conference team in Dalian, delivered a speech to extend his thanks and delights in organizing the LASOSU2021.

LASOSU2021 is a characteristic international meeting. The smooth network and communication during LASOSU2021 illustrate that to hold an online international conference at a large scale is practical in promoting the international exchange under the present COVID situation. In addition, LASOSU2021 is highly internationalized. All oral presentations and posters are in English, and the presenters and chairpersons from outside of China account for 35% of the 241 presenters/chairpersons. LASOSU2021 has not only a large number of participants but also a high academic level. The presenters/chairpersons at the professor level or above account for 34% of the total. The conference was also supported by various social forces: 18 famous universities, institutes and associations from China and other countries participated in the preparation and organization of LASOSU2021. Among them, Northwest A&F University, Shenyang Agricultural University and University of Florence (Italy), convened 5, 3, and 2 slots of parallel sessions, respectively. Moreover, two enterprises sponsored the conference, and a leader of the local government also participated in the core slot of the conference. Especially, the professionalism and impartiality have been realized in selecting the outstanding attendances which have been approved by all participants.

In conclusion, LASOSU2021 has received wide attentions in the field of soil conservation and sustainable development. It is said that "LASOSO2021 is a high-level international academic conference held under the epidemic situation of COVID-19". Maybe LASOSU2021 has made a promotion in improving the general studies and starting the key projects in the field. LASOSU2021 has played a positive role in providing a global perspective and strategic thinking to dissolve the problem of serious soil degradation described in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a document adopted by all UN Member States in 2015.

Attachment: List of Award Recipients in LASOSU2021

Editor: Li Xiang