During the annual conference of the European Climate Alliance in Bolzano in 2000, the idea of a soil and land alliance, like that for Climate Alliance was presented by the Southern Tyrol Parliament and met with great interest among the conference participants.
The main reason for the enormous interest in the idea of a European Land and Soil Alliance can be seen in the interest and specific concerns of local authorities. They have direct access to local sites and the users of the sites. Furthermore, they have the instruments for land use planning and can enforce sustainable use of soils.
In consequence, the first workshop in October 2000 in Bolzano laid the foundation stone of the European Land and Soil Alliance through the adoption of the Soil Manifesto.
In 2002 ELSA was registered as a non-profit association with its home and place of jurisdiction in Osnabrück (D).
For further information about the origins of ELSA see the "Guide for the Soil Alliance".