Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Governor of Salzburg I am both proud and honoured to welcome this high level meeting of concerned scientists, representatives of international organisations, institutions, as well as private enterprises.

Salzburg, on the cross roads of Europe from Oslo to Rome, from Lisbon to Moscow has long had a history as an independent state. Salzburg has a rich tradition in the arts, in architecture and music. The natural setting on the northern slopes of the Alps makes it a unique place that the ConSoil program folder so nicely calls a "miniature metropolis". I like to take your word. Salzburg shall once again be the place for not only people but ideas and visions to meet.

Many of the issues you will address are invisible to the eye, odourless but quietly ticking. One of our foremost tasks is to create awareness for the complex matter and that it will be also costly to restore contaminated sites to guarantee a safe environment. One program that Salzburg is actively pursuing is sending trainers to schools to relate the concept of the environmental footprint. Most of us enjoy a good life, but is it sustainable? Haven't we been ignorant to the long term effects of our short term problem disposal?

Strategies and techniques of soil investigation are to be developed further, the restoration and long term use of the ground beneath our feet secured. Even Salzburg is still confronted with underground explosives dropped in World War II. ConSoil 2010 in one of the two and a half days of thematic sessions will also address this problem of land mines and former military sites. On another front Salzburg is fiercely fighting the battle to keep control over quality ground water as public property.

I have never seen a conference that hasn't brought forth new ideas or shaped new alliances. We are in this together. I hope you will find the sessions productive, the environment conducive and the outcome a success.

Mag. Gabi Burgstaller Governor of Salzburg

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