The Glinka World Soil Champion 2021 is Dr. Lydie Stella Koutika
The Glinka World Soil Prize, launched in 2016, honours distinguished individuals or organizations that promote sustainable soil management, contributing to preserve soils and increase food security.
The winner of the Glinka World Soil Prize - edition 2021 - is the scientist Lydie-Stella Koutika from The Republic of the Congo. This award recognises her contributions towards improving and expanding the knowledge of African soils and the considerable impact she has had on the scientific community and farmers’ livelihoods.
In 2020, the winner was Luca Montanarella from the European Commission, with Lydie-Stella Koutika the second classified for her outstanding achievement and dedication in the promotion of sustainable soil management practices.
Lydie-Stella Koutika is a well known soil scientist with over 30 years of experience in applied research on agroecosystems. Her research focuses on soil health and degradation processes to fight food insecurity and foster climate change mitigation and adaptation. In 2018, ENEA, in collaboration with The World Academy of Sciences - TWAS (twas.org), supported the Koutika’s research in the framework of TWAS-ENEA research training fellowship programme.
During her 9-month international fellow, Dr. Koutika worked at ENEA Casaccia Research Center, under the supervision of Massimo Iannetta and Annamaria Bevivino, performing her research on soil fertility and C sequestration of nutrient-poor soils the Congolese coastal plains under the mixed-species plantations of acacia and eucalyptus by evaluating the dynamics of soil organic matter along with soil microbial community investigations.
In this framework, a dedicated webinar was organized on “Promoting collaborative agricultural research for sustainable agro-food systems for achieving Agenda 2030” by FAO and ENEA to take stock of the fallouts of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2015 and renewed in 2021, between FAO and CNR, CREA, ENEA and ISPRA. The virtual meeting allowed to share the results of the research work carried out by Dr. Koutika, as well as by the other visiting scientists hosted by ENEA in the context of ENEA-TWAS programme (Leon W. Nitiema, Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles, INERA, Burkina Faso, and Alex Dimitri Tchuenchieu Kamgain, Centre for Food and Nutrition Research, IMPM, Cameroon), who worked in the laboratories of ENEA Department for Sustainability.
Dr. Lydie Stella Koutika published on soil sustainable management, under various regional, climatic and land use conditions, over 100 publications in top international scientific journals, among them those performed in the framework of her collaboration with ENEA.