Table of Contents
Quotation: Helming, K.. and Glaesner N. (2013): Introduction to the environmental Impact Area Soil Quality and Resources: http://beta.liaise-toolbox.eu/node/1213.
Soil is a vital and largely non-renewable resource. All vegetation is dependent on soil for the supply of nutrients and water and for root fixation. Soil is a storehouse of minerals, organic matter, water and energy. It is a water filter, a transformer of gases and energy and a gene pool for a huge variety of organisms. Over 320 major soil types have been identified in Europe. Each soil type features distinct chemical, biological and physical properties. Soil formation is a longstanding process that takes 10000 years or more. Loss of soils is thus hard to compensate and imposes great costs, while contamination and degradation can lead to irreversible loss.
Soils have come under increasing pressure from different causes. Erosion through wind and water is one problem, desertification is apparent in the Mediterranean Member States of the EU. Sealing for housing and infrastructure leads to a loss of all soil functions; compaction, salinisation, acidification and contamination (e.g. through all kinds of chemicals, wastes, wastewater, as well as nuclear waste) lead to degradation and to a decline of organic matter including a loss of carbon sequestration capacity. It is estimated that 16 percent of the European Land Area are affected by land degradation. All this has consequences on ecosystem services, on the production of food as well as other economic developments. But for all its importance, soil protection has not been the subject of comprehensive EU action so far and the range of adopted policy measures is rather small.
The EU adopted “Europe 2020” in June 2010. This strategy for sustainable growth and job emphasizes the need to increase competiveness by stimulating innovation and green growth. Sustainable growth will be supported by a flagship initiative for a resource efficient Europe that emphasizes the decoupling of economic growth from resource and energy use by reducing the resource intensity of what we use and consume.
For more information on the treaty provisions and relevant policies adopted by the community, please refer http://europa.eu/pol/env/index_en.htm
This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents.
Legal basis for the Commission to act
Several directives have been proposed or already adopted that address soil protection aspects such as the daughter directive under the air quality framework directive (heavy metals and PAH), the Directive on mining waste or the revised sewage sludge directive (reduction in maximum permitted levels of contaminants in sludge), the water framework directive, the habitats directive.
European Commission DG Environment on Soils http://ec.europa.eu/environment/soil/index_en.htm
Summaries of EU legislation on soil protection http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/soil_protection/index_en.htm
EEA on soil http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/soil
European Commission JRC Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation Project http://soco.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
Publications and applications
Content for this term
|Farm System Simulator(Part of SEAMLESS)||Model||2013-11-26 08:29|
|Glaesner, Nadia||Expert||2014-03-26 13:33|
|Integrated Nitrogen Tool across Europe for Greenhouse gases and Ammonia Targeted to Operational Responses||Model||2013-11-26 08:29|
|LINTUL4 crop growth simulation model||Model||2013-11-26 08:29|
|Nendel, Claas||Expert||2013-01-15 19:37|
|Peterson, Kaja||Expert||2014-03-05 09:38|
|Reidsma, Pytrik||Expert||2014-04-08 17:04|
|Soil Quality or Resources||Impact Area||2014-01-22 16:15|