13–19 June 2020, BFH-HAFL, Zollikofen, Switzerland
5th International Conference on Soil, Bio- and Eco-Engineerin (SBEE2020)

As in the preceding SBEE conference series, we will bring together researchers, practitioners, geotechnical and civil engineers, biologists, ecologists, geomorphologists and foresters to discuss current problems in soil-resource sustainability, soil erosion and slope-stability research, and how to address these problems using soil, bio- and eco-engineering techniques.

Over the last 50 years, alterations in land use coupled with the consequences of climate change have led to severe degradation of mountainous and hilly regions around the world, compromising several aspects related to their ecosystem services (e.g., protection against natural hazards, water quality, sustainability of soil resources, etc.). Once erosion processes are underway, the replacement of soil on the denuded slope can take thousands of years through natural processes. The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2040 and as such, agricultural soil is precious, and the importance of hillslope stability is becoming more a priority of governments needing to protect and feed the rapidly increasing populations. Therefore, the prevention of hillslope instability, the restoration of degraded slopes and the correct management of steep farmed slopes is of utmost importance. In response to the need for better mitigation strategies, major advances in research and applications for using vegetation to improve slope stability have been established during the last ten years, largely due to the development of techniques and models for the study of root-soil interactions at different scales. These advances will be presented and discussed at the conference, where sessions will focus on root-soil mechanics, vegetation on slopes over time and space, vegetation for reversing soil degradation and soil bioengineering case studies. Proceedings will be published in special editions of the international journals ‘Plant and Soil’ and 'Ecological Engineering’.

Conference topics include
− Root-soil interactions and distribution
− Root reinforcement
− Soil erosion and conservation
− Riverbank and coastline protection measures
− Slope stability modelling
− Effects of vegetation on hillslope hydrology
− Bioengineering, ecology and biodiversity
− Eco-DRR measures, protection forests, and soil bioengineering
− Risk management and decision support systems
− Benefits and liabilities in slope and erosion control

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