Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

I would like to submit my application

Application of the “SOTER”-method to the cartography of the soils in Burundi

Anicet SINDAYIHEBURA student laureate

°1966 Burundi
Licence in soil sciences, Université du Burundi, 1992

Application de la méthode « SOTER » à la cartographie des sols du Burundi

The author has made an effort to apply, in a very concrete way, the « SOTER » (Soil-Terrain) method for the management of data regarding the soils and the terrains where they are situated. This method was initiated by the International Association of Soil Science (AISS) and supported, among others, by the United Nations Programme for the Environment (UNPE). Its application requires, as is clearly shown by the author, the mastering of an information tool, the Geographic Information System (GIS). This system enables a quick analysis and management of data and the establishment of a relation between the cartographic objects and their characteristics or distinguishing features, as managed by an appropriate database. Furthermore, the system makes it possible to save documents under a digital form, which allows their update and the control of their access by the users. The SOTER-method had been started on the basis of the map of the world, on a small scale, 1/1.000.000, of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. The author has applied it to the information given by the soil map, the geological map, on a scale of 1/250.000, and by the lithological and hypsometric maps, on a 1/750.000 scale, of Burundi. This has enabled him to discuss in a concrete way the limits of applying this method in his country, and to make concrete and relevant proposals for its improvement. Moreover, he has been able to notice the lack of data on certain characteristics of the terrain units, and of the terrain and soil components. These could, however, be obtained. Anicet Sindayihebura makes, in this context, concrete proposals: on a short term, a map should be drawn of all the reference profiles of the soils in the database on the Burundian soils. On a medium term, he suggests to obtain the satellite images necessary for drawing up the elevation models and the topographic maps, in order to specify the characteristics of the terrain units and components.
This work clearly shows the relevance of a transfer of appropriate methodology to stimulate efficiently the sustainable development. The SOTER-method of data management regarding soils and their environment – a method well-mastered by the author – can contribute to a well-reasoned exploitation of the soils in Burundi, to an optimum environment-friendly agricultural production.

report by Prof. Dr. Léon Jules Mathieu, Professor emeritus, Geopedology, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, Belgium