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Document 52021DC0699

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS EU Soil Strategy for 2030 Reaping the benefits of healthy soils for people, food, nature and climate

COM/2021/699 final

Brussels, 17.11.2021

COM(2021) 699 final

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

EU Soil Strategy for 2030



Reaping the benefits of healthy soils for people, food, nature and climate

{SWD(2021) 323 final}


1.Introduction 

Investing in prevention and restoration of soil degradation makes sound economic sense. As the EU’s largest terrestrial ecosystem, healthy soils sustain many sectors of the economy while soil degradation is costing the EU several tens of billion euros per year 11 . Management practices that sustain and enhance soil health and biodiversity improve cost efficiency and limit the inputs (e.g. pesticides, fertilisers) needed to maintain yields. Halting and reversing current trends of soil degradation could generate up to EUR 1.2 trillion per year in economic benefits globally 12 . The cost of inaction on soil degradation, which outweighs the cost of action by a factor of 6 in Europe 13 , goes beyond the economic calculation; it would not only lead to fertility loss comprising global food security, but also impact on the quality of products and their nutritional value.

2.Vision and objectives: achieving good soil health by 2050

·Combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world (Sustainable Development Goal 15.3) 16 . 

·Significant areas of degraded and carbon-rich ecosystems, including soils, are restored 17 .

·Achieve an EU net greenhouse gas removal of 310 million tonnes CO2 equivalent per year for the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector 18 .

·Reach good ecological and chemical status in surface waters and good chemical and quantitative status in groundwater by 2027 19 .

·Reduce nutrient losses by at least 50%, the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% and the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030 20 .

·Significant progress has been made in the remediation of contaminated sites 21 . 

·Reach no net land take 22   23 .

·Soil pollution should be reduced to levels no longer considered harmful to human health and natural ecosystems and respect the boundaries our planet can cope with, thus creating a toxic-free environment 24 .

·Achieve a climate-neutral Europe 25  and, as the first step, aim to achieve land-based climate neutrality in the EU by 2035 26 . 

·Achieve for EU a climate-resilient society, fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change by 2050 27 .

·provide food and biomass production, including in agriculture and forestry;

·absorb, store and filter water and transform nutrients and substances, thus protecting groundwater bodies;

·provide the basis for life and biodiversity, including habitats, species and genes;

·act as a carbon reservoir;

·provide a physical platform and cultural services for humans and their activities;

·act as a source of raw materials;

·constitute an archive of geological, geomorphological and archaeological heritage.

3.Soil as a key solution for our big challenges

3.1.Soil for climate change mitigation and adaptation 

·Organic soils (including peatlands) have a high carbon content of more than 20% in dry weight and cover 8% of the EU 34 . Peatlands are terrestrial wetlands in which waterlogged conditions prevent plant material from fully decomposing. Peatland drainage across all land categories in Europe alone emits around 5% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from cultivated organic soils have still not decreased significantly due to the continuation of harmful cropping practices. Yet restoring drained organic soils alone could significantly reduce CO2 emissions from land, which comes with numerous co-benefits, for nature, biodiversity and water protection 35 .

·Mineral soils feature a carbon content below 20%, although more generally it is below 5%. Every year mineral soils under cropland are losing around 7.4 million tonnes of carbon 36 , caused i.a. by unsustainable farming practices. Yet, that carbon pool is the ‘bank account’ of farmers and foresters in terms of natural capital. It is essential not to deplete it, as the carbon content is the basis for soil’s biodiversity, health and fertility. Furthermore, carbon sequestration in mineral soils, while depending on soil type and climatic conditions, is a cost-effective emission mitigation method with significant potential to sequester between 11 to 38 MtCO2eq annually in Europe 37  if a range of management practices which have already been identified are applied on a larger scale in arable land. Many of these practices are cost-effective 38 . Foresters as well have significant opportunities for measures which simultaneously improve forest productivity, carbon sink function and healthy soil properties.. The banking and financial sector is increasingly interested in investing in those farmers who apply sustainable practices and increase soil carbon, as well as creating market-based incentives for carbon storing. There is evidence that carbon farming can contribute significantly to the EU’s efforts to tackle climate change but also brings other co-benefits such as increased biodiversity and the preservation of ecosystems 39 .

·Based on the results of the impact assessment, consider proposing legally binding objectives in the context of the Nature Restoration Law, to limit  drainage of wetlands and organic soils and to restore managed and drained peatlands, in order to maintain and increase soil carbon stocks, minimise flooding and drought risks, and enhance biodiversity, taking into account the implications of these objectives for future carbon farming initiatives and agricultural and forestry production systems. Furthermore, the EU is committed to the protection of wetlands and peatlands in line with the provisions of the CAP strategic plan regulation.

·Contribute to the assessment of the state of peatlands in the context of the Global Peatlands Initiative hosted by FAO and UNEP 40 . 

·The Commission will consider measures, possibly in the context of the Nature Restoration Law, to enhance biodiversity in agricultural land that would contribute to conserving and increasing soil organic carbon (SOC),

·Join the international initiative 4 per 1000 to increase the soil carbon in agricultural land 41 .

·Develop a long-term vision for sustainable carbon cycles (including capture, storage, and use of CO2) in a climate-neutral EU economy. As part of this, the Commission will deliver a communication on restoring sustainable carbon cycles, in 2021 and present the EU carbon farming initiative and a legislative proposal on carbon removal certification in 2022 to promote a new green business model rewarding land managers, such as farmers and foresters, for climate–friendly practices 42 .

3.2. Soil and the circular economy

3.2.1.A safe, sustainable and circular use of excavated soil 

·Investigate the streams of excavated soils generated, treated and reused in the EU, and benchmark the market situation in Member States by 2023. This should give a complete picture of the situation in the EU.

·As part of the development of the Soil Health Law, assess the need and potential for legally binding provisions for a passport for excavated soil, and provide guidance, based on Member States experiences, to put in place such a system. The passport should reflect the quantity and quality of the excavated soil to ensure that it is transported, treated or reused safely elsewhere. 

3.2.2.Limiting land take and soil sealing with a circular use of land

·Set by 2023 their own ambitious national, regional and local targets to reduce net land take by 2030 in order to make a measurable contribution to the EU target of 2050, and report on progress.

·Integrate the ‘land take hierarchy’ into their Urban Greening Plans 53 , and give priority to reusing and recycling land and to quality urban soils at national, regional and local level, through appropriate regulatory initiatives and by phasing out financial incentives that would go against this hierarchy, such as local fiscal benefits for converting agricultural or natural land into built environment.

·Provide a definition of net land take in the Soil Health Law.

·As part of the impact assessment for the Soil Health Law, consider provisions for Member States to report on progress in achieving their land take targets

·As part of the impact assessment of the Soil Health Law, consider options for monitoring and reporting on progress towards the no net land take targets and the implementation of the land take hierarchy on the basis of the data reported by Member States. 

·Provide guidance to public authorities and private companies on how to reduce soil sealing, including best practices for locally-driven initiatives for desealing artificial surfaces to let soil breathe, with a revision of the EU Soil Sealing Guidelines by 2024 54 . Foster an exchange of best practices, building on experiences from Member States or regions that have spatial planning systems which successfully address the challenge of land take with a view to developing a common methodology 55 .

3.2.3.Closing the nutrient and carbon circle

3.3. Soil biodiversity for human, animal and plant health

·Show its global leading role in building knowledge on soil biodiversity by publishing by 2022 the first assessment of EU soil biodiversity and antimicrobial resistance genes in agricultural soils under different management regimes (through the LUCAS Soil).

·Assess the risk of further alien flatworm species for their potential inclusion in the list of ‘invasive alien species of Union concern’, in line with the Invasive Alien Species Regulation 66 .

·Strive for better coherence and stronger synergies between the Rio Conventions and strive for a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that recognises the importance of soil biodiversity, strengthens the use of sustainable soil management practices to safeguard ecosystem services (namely by promoting agro-ecology and other biodiversity-friendly practices) and integrates soil preservation and restoration in different targets and indicators. 

·Actively contribute to the adoption by the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity 67 of the plan of action 2020-2030 for the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity and the updated plan of action and to its subsequent implementation.

·Step up efforts in mapping, assessing, protecting and restoring soil biodiversity and support the establishment of the Global Soil Biodiversity Observatory as proposed by the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Global Soil Partnership 68 .

3.4. Soil for healthy water resources 

4.Preventing soil and land degradation and restoring healthy soils

4.1. Making sustainable soil management the new normal

·As part of the Soil Health law, and in the context of an impact assessment, assess requirements for the sustainable use of soil so that its capacity to deliver ecosystem services is not hampered, including the option of setting legal requirements. 

·Prepare, in consultation with Member States and stakeholders, a set of ‘sustainable soil management’ practices, including regenerative farming in line with agro-ecological principles, adapted to the wide variability of soil ecosystems and types, and identify unsustainable soil management practices.

·Provide assistance to Member States to put in place through national funds the TEST YOUR SOIL FOR FREE. 

·Create with the Member States a network of excellence of practitioners, and an inclusive network of SSM ambassadors, including on regenerative and organic agriculture, connecting stakeholders beyond academia and agricultural actors. For this they will build on the work of Living Labs and Lighthouses of the Mission ’A Soil Deal for Europe’ (see Section 5.3).

·In the context of the CAP and in close cooperation with the Member States, continue the dissemination of successful sustainable soil and nutrient management solutions, including through the national rural networks of the rural development programme, farm advisory services and AKIS, and the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI). 

·Promote SSM through voluntary commitments between actors in the food system under the EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Businesses and Marketing practices.

·Value outstanding achievements and innovative initiatives on sustainable soil management by strengthening cooperation with the farming community such as though the European Land Owners Soil Award 79 . 

·Continue to support the Global Soil Partnership in promoting sustainable soil management worldwide.

·Propose by 2023 a legislative framework for an EU sustainable food system, as indicated in the Farm to Fork Strategy. 

·Duly include in their programmes under EU cohesion policy the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of soil, making full use of the EU guidance on integrating ecosystems and their services into decision-making 80 .

·Ensure the CAP’s strong contribution to maintaining and enhancing soil health, in line with the CAP Strategic Plans analysis and needs assessment. This is to be achieved, among others, by adopting ambitious CAP strategic plans containing sufficient interventions under the green architecture 81 , following the Commission’s CAP recommendations. The Commission will continue providing necessary guidance and assess the contribution and consistency of these plans towards the Green Deal targets.

·Set up at the appropriate level the TEST YOUR SOIL FOR FREE initiative.

4.2. Preventing desertification 

·Establish a methodology and relevant indicators, starting with the UNCCD’s three indicators, to assess the extent of desertification and land degradation in the EU.

·Propose to Member States to declare the EU affected by desertification under UNCCD and continue to encourage Member States to participate in the United Nation’s Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme.

·Supported by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC), publish information every five years about the state of land degradation and desertification in the EU.

·Continue support to key initiatives such as the Great Green Wall initiative 89 , Regreening Africa 90 , and aid on land/soil issues in development cooperation.

·Adopt, in line with the actions envisaged in the EU climate adaptation strategy 91 , appropriate long-term measures to prevent and mitigate degradation, notably by reducing water use and adapting crops to the local water availability, coupled with wider use of drought management plans and application of sustainable soil management.

4.3. Preventing soil pollution

·Revise the Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides 94  and evaluate the Sewage Sludge Directive by 2022.

·Improve and harmonise the consideration of soil quality and soil biodiversity in EU risk assessments for chemicals, food and feed additives, pesticides, fertilisers, etc. It will do this under the ‘one substance one assessment’ initiative and in collaboration with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the EEA, JRC and the Member States.

·Restrict intentionally used micro-plastics under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation and develop measures on the unintentional release of microplastics by 2022. Following the initiation of the restriction process by some Member States, the Commission will prepare a restriction under REACH on all non-essential uses of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), preventing their emission to the environment including soil, and also develop a policy framework on bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics by 2022.

·By July 2024, adopt biodegradability criteria for certain polymers, such as coating agents and agricultural mulch films under the EU Fertilising Products Regulation. The contaminant limits for EU fertilising products will be reviewed by July 2026 as part of the general review of that regulation.

4.4.Restoring degraded soils and remediating contaminated sites

A degraded soil has lost partially or completely its capacity to provide its multiple functions and services. In some cases, resorting to sustainable soil management allows soil to re-establish a healthy condition, leading to full recovery after some years (e.g. in case of loss of carbon and biodiversity or compaction and erosion of the top fertile layer). In other cases, active restoration measures are needed for sometimes only partial recovery (e.g. for sealed, desertified, salinised or acidified soils). In the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Commission announced a proposal for legally binding EU nature restoration targets in 2021 to restore degraded ecosystems, in particular those with the most potential to capture and store carbon and to prevent and reduce the impact of natural disasters. Sometimes, alas, degradation is irreversible.

- assess the feasibility of the introduction of a soil health certificate for land transaction to provide land buyers with information on the key characteristics and health of the soils in the site they intend to purchase.

·In cooperation with Member States and stakeholders, facilitate a dialogue and knowledge exchange on the risk assessment methodologies for soil contamination and identify best practices.

·By 2024, develop an EU priority list for contaminants of major and/or emerging concern that pose significant risks for European soil quality, and for which vigilance and priority action at European and national level is needed.

·By 2022, revise the Industrial Emissions Directive 104  and by 2023 evaluate the Environmental Liability Directive 105 , including with regard to the definition of land damage and the role of financial security.

·Establish a system of soil health certificates for land transactions, with support by the EU research programme and mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’, if this is not included in the Soil Health Law. 

5.We need to know more about soils

5.1. Soil and the digital agenda

·Enhance the use of digital tools and Copernicus and rely on the JRC to further develop the European Soil Observatory (EUSO) 112 and the EEA to develop the Land Information System for Europe (LISE), supported by geospatial analytical products.

·Encourage and support Member States to set-up farm sustainability tools for nutrients (FaST), as part of the farm advisory services under the new CAP. Such tools will provide to farmers recommendations about the use of fertilisers, compliant with existing legislation and based on available data and knowledge.   

·Improve the modelling capacity of soil-related processes under the Commission’s Destination Earth 113 in collaboration with the Horizon Europe Mission ’A Soil Deal for Europe’.

5.2. Soil data and monitoring

·Following an impact assessment, and as part of the Soil Health Law, consider provisions on monitoring soil and soil biodiversity and reporting on the condition of soil, building on existing national and EU schemes, including LUCAS soil module; consider, as part of the impact assessment, providing a legal basis for the LUCAS soil survey to legally anchor the objectives, conditions, funding, access to land, use of data and privacy issues.

·Provide through the LUCAS soil surveys EU-wide harmonised monitoring of the evolution in soil organic carbon content and carbon stocks, complementing Member States reporting under the LULUCF Regulation.

·Work towards integrating a pollution module in the future LUCAS in 2022 soil survey 119 to better understand and map the issue of diffuse soil contamination 120 in the EU, and produce a clean soil outlook as part of the integrated zero pollution monitoring and outlook framework.

·In implementing the EUSO:

oIdentify, with the contribution of the European joint programme on agricultural soil management 121 , soil monitoring gaps, in dialogue with Member States and other key stakeholders 

oDevelop a soil dashboard with a set of reliable soil indicators integrating trends and foresight.

oDevelop an EU inventory of soil biota in order to monitor and better understand soil biodiversity.

5.3. Soil research and innovation

·Implement ambitious roadmaps for research and innovation to expand the knowledge base for soil stewardship and widen the access to and use of results from research activities. 

·Continue providing substantial funding to i) research solutions to increase soil biodiversity; ii) address soil degradation; iii) pilot innovative technologies for decontamination. 

·Promote the development and use of digital and remote sensors, apps and handheld samplers to assess soil quality.

6.Enabling the transition to healthy soils

6.1. Private finance and EU funding

·Publish a guide in 2022 with an overview of EU funding opportunities available for the protection, sustainable management and restoration of soils, once all priorities and focus areas for 2021-2027 have been clearly defined.

·Promote investments in projects that sustainably manage and do not significantly harm soils under the EU Taxonomy Regulation 129 and its delegated acts. 

6.2. Soil literacy and societal engagement

·Launch a soil literacy engagement and awareness initiative, building on the successful example of the “ocean literacy 130 . 

·Facilitate and encourage the sharing of best practices in communication and engagement on soil, building an EUSO portal and setting up outreach networks aiming at healthy soils.

·Integrate the issue of soil degradation under the European common reference framework of sustainability competences 131 , to develop the concept of soil literacy with European citizens. 

·Run a comprehensive portfolio of actions for communication, education, and citizen engagement to promote soil health at various levels and bring soils closer to citizen’s values, building on the Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ and the EU Soil Observatory.

7.Conclusions

(1) FAO (2020), State of knowledge of soil biodiversity - Status, challenges and potentialities.
(2) World Resources Institute (2019), Creating a sustainable food future.
(3) European Commission (2021), EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change – Impact assessment
(4) European Commission (2005), Soil Atlas of Europe.
(5) European Commission (2020), Caring for soil is caring for life.
(6) EEA (2019), The European Environment: State and Outlook 2020.
(7) Panagos P. et al (2015), The new assessment of soil loss by water erosion in Europe. 
(8)   https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/dashboards/land-take-statistics#tab-based-on-data
(9) European Commission (2021), Accounting for ecosystems and their services in the EU (INCA)
(10) World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2018), The business case for investing in soil health.
(11)  Estimated at EUR 50 billion in the report of the Mission board for Soil health and food (2020), “Caring for soil is caring for life”, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/4ebd2586-fc85-11ea-b44f-01aa75ed71a1/  
(12) IPBES (2018), The assessment report on land degradation and restoration.
(13)  Nkonya et al. (2016), Economics of Land Degradation and Improvement - A Global Assessment for Sustainable Development.
(14) EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, COM(2020)380.
(15)  EU Climate Adaptation Strategy, COM/2021/82.
(16) United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
(17) EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, COM(2020)380.
(18) Proposal for a revision of the LULUCF Regulation, COM(2021) 554.
(19)   Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC
(20) EU Farm to Fork Strategy, COM(2020) 381.
(21) EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, COM(2020)380.
(22) Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, COM/2011/0571.
(23) 7th EU Environment Action Programme, Decision No 1386/2013/EU.
(24) Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All, EU Action Plan: ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’, COM(2021)400.
(25) Climate Law Regulation (EU) 2021/1119.
(26) Proposal for a revision of the LULUCF Regulation, COM(2021) 554.
(27) EU Climate Adaptation Strategy, COM/2021/82.
(28) Requirements related to specific aspects of soil protection within, for example, Sewage Sludge Directive, Industrial Emissions Directive, Common Agricultural Policy, Environmental Liability Directive, Waste Framework Directive, LULUCF Regulation.
(29) Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, COM(2006)231. 
(30)  The European Parliament, the European Court of Auditors, the Committee of the Regions, the EEA in its State and Outlook of the Environment Report 2020, citizens and stakeholders answering the public consultation; see SWD(2021)323 for details.
(31)  Such as expertise from business and professional organisations, academia and scientific organisations, and the civil society.
(32)   Proposal for amending Regulations (EU) 2018/841 and (EU) 2018/1999, COM/2021/554
(33)   Delivering the European Green Deal: Fit for 55 package
(34) Calculated from data derived from the national submissions to the UNFCCC.
(35)  European Commission (2021), Technical guidance handbook: Setting up and implementing result-based carbon farming mechanisms in the EU . Data are from 2016, including UK .  
(36) European Commission (2018), In-depth analysis in support of this in COM(2018) 773: A Clean Planet for all - European strategic long-term vision a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy
(37) Lugato et al. (2014), Potential carbon sequestration of European arable soils estimated by modelling a comprehensive set of management practices.
(38) European Commission (2021), Technical guidance handbook: Setting up and implementing result-based carbon farming mechanisms in the EU  
(39) European Commission (2021), Technical guidance handbook: Setting up and implementing result-based carbon farming mechanisms in the EU
(40)

  www.globalpeatlands.org  

(41)   www.4p1000.org  
(42) European Commission carbon farming initiative,  ‘Climate change – restoring sustainable carbon cycles’  
(43)   EU principles for sustainable raw materials
(44)  In accordance with Article 2, 1(c) of Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, uncontaminated soil and other naturally occurring material excavated in the course of construction activities where it is certain that the material will be used for the purposes of construction in its natural state on the site from which it was excavated, is excluded from the scope of this Directive. Reused excavated soil is also not reported as waste.
(45) European Commission (2020), Study to support the preparation of Commission guidelines on the definition of backfilling.
(46) Pistocchi A. et al (2015), Soil sealing and flood risks in the plains of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. 
(47) European Commission (2012), In depth report: soil sealing.
(48) The loss of agricultural land from 1990 to 2006 through sealing in EU countries had the productive capacity equivalent to 6 million tonnes per year of wheat (Gardi et al. (2014)).
(49) European Academies Science Advisory Council (2018), Opportunities for soil sustainability in Europe.
(50) The impact of overall EU consumption is estimated at over 9 million hectares deforested between 1990 and 2008 to meet the EU’s imports of crops and livestock. Source: Consumption Impact Study - Forests - Environment
(51) Germany aims to seal less than 30 hectares per day until 2030; Austria had set 2.5 ha per day until 2010; two Belgian regions (Flanders and Wallonia respectively) set targets for reducing land take to zero by 2040/2050 respectively.
(52)   Land recycling and densification — EEA
(53)   See EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, key commitment 11 of the Nature restoration plan: “ Cities with at least 20,000 inhabitants have an ambitious Urban Greening Plan. ” by 2030.
(54) Guidelines on best practice to limit, mitigate or compensate soil sealing, Commission Staff Working Document (2012) 101.
(55) Czechia has divided agricultural land into five protection classes to protect the most valuable and fertile soils from land take.
(56) EEA (2019), Land and soil in Europe.
(57) Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All, EU Action Plan: ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’, COM(2021)400.
(58) For example: Horizon 2020 (Closing nutrients cycle) and Horizon Europe (Environmental impacts and trade-offs of alternative fertilising products at global/local scale)
(59) Fortuna, A. (2012), The Soil Biota. Nature Education Knowledge. 
(60)  Brevik et al. (2020), Soil and human health: current status and future needs
(61) Yu Imai et al. (2019), A new antibiotic selectively kills Gram-negative pathogens
(62)   One Health (who.int)
(63) Wall and Six (2015), Give soils their due
(64) Pickles et al. (2017), Mycorrhizal Networks and Forest Resilience to Drought. Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil, pp. 319-339
(65) Joint Research Centre (2021), Baseline distribution of invasive alien species added to the Union list in 2019
(66) EU Regulation 1143/2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction of invasive alien species.
(67)   https://www.cbd.int/meetings/COP-15  
(68) FAO (2020), State of knowledge of soil biodiversity – Status, challenges and potentialities.
(69)   European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture
(70) IUCN (2020), Common ground: restoring land health for sustainable agriculture  
(71) Good Agricultural and Environmental Practices (GAEC) under CAP; https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/income-support/cross-compliance_en#gaec  
(72)   Pro Silva Principles, https://www.prosilva.org/close-to-nature-forestry/pro-silva-principles/  
(73) FAO (2017), Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management.
(74) Gattinger A. et al (2012), Enhanced top soil carbon stocks under organic farming.
(75)   https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/cap-glance_en - thenewcap  
(76) New EU Forest Strategy for 2030, COM(2021)572 final.
(77)   https://www.gissol.fr/le-gis/programmes/base-de-donnees-danalyses-des-terres-bdat-62
(78) See the EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices,  https://ec.europa.eu/food/horizontal-topics/farm-fork-strategy/sustainable-food-processing/code-conduct_en  
(79)   Soil and Land Award (europeanlandowners.org)
(80) SWD(2019)305 on EU guidance on integrating ecosystems and their services into decision making.
(81)  Eco-schemes and rural development as well as ambitious ‘good agricultural and environmental conditions’.
(82) See, for example,  https://indicators.report/targets/15-3/  
(83) See UNCCD reporting platform: https://prais.unccd.int/unccd/reports
(84)  EEA (2019), Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Europe
(85) Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Source: European Court of Auditors (2018) Background Paper. Desertification in the EU
(86) ECA Special Report 33/2018:  Combating desertification in the EU: a growing threat in need of more action
(87) EEA (2019), Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Europe ,
(88)  See recommendations from the assessment of the 2nd River Basin Management Plans.
(89)   https://www.greatgreenwall.org/  
(90)   https://regreeningafrica.org/  
(91) Forging a climate-resilient Europe - the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, COM(2021)82.
(92) Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All, EU Action Plan: Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’, COM(2021)400.
(93) European Environment Agency (2021), Land and soil pollution — widespread, harmful and growing
(94) Directive 2009/128/EC.
(95) Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All, EU Action Plan: ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’, COM(2021)400.
(96)   https://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/mercury/regulation_en.htm  
(97) Directive 2004/35/CE on environmental liability with regards to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage
(98) Judgment in Joined Cases C-379/08 and C-380/08, ERG aos.
(99) Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions
(100) Historical contamination was caused before the entry into force of national or EU legislation. On orphan sites, the polluter cannot be identified, no longer exists or cannot bear the remediation cost, e.g. due to bankruptcy.
(101) UNEA-3 resolutions 3/4 on environment and health and 3/6 on managing soil pollution, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 3.9 and 15.3), the Minamata Convention (Article 12), the Stockholm Convention (Article 6), the Ostrava declaration of the 6th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health.
(102)   https://echa.europa.eu/-/21-551-chemicals-on-eu-market-now-registered
(103) SWD(2020)249 on Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) accompanying the Chemicals Strategy
(104) Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU
(105) Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35/CE
(106) A European Strategy for Data, COM(2020)66.
(107) INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC.
(108) Farm to Fork Strategy, COM(2020)381.
(109)  Farm sustainability tool, see https://fastplatform.eu  
(110)   SWD(2021) 140
(111)   Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS)
(112)   https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/eu-soil-observatory
(113)  See https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/destination-earth  
(114)

  https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis/display/SOIL/National+monitoring+systems  

(115) INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC.
(116) See also EEA (2021), Soil monitoring in Europe - Indicators and thresholds for soil quality assessments  https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/soil-monitoring-in-europe-indicators-and-thresholds/  
(117) National Emissions Reduction Commitments Directive 2016/2284, Article 9.
(118) Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation 2018/841.
(119)   LUCAS - ESDAC - European Commission
(120) This is being developed in coherence with other monitoring initiatives such as the EU groundwater watch list process.
(121)   EJP SOIL - Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils
(122)   https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/environment/bioeconomy/food-systems/food-2030_en  
(123)

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(124) E.g. Soil Capital
(125)   Microsoft uses blockchain modern technology to purchase soil carbon credit in Australia
(126)   Living Soils initiative: Nestlé, McCain and Lidl address soil health in France
(127)   Revive
(128) European Commission C(2021) 1054
(129) Regulation (EU) 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088.
(130)   https://oceanliteracy.unesco.org/  
(131)   https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12985-Environmental-sustainability-education-and-training_en  
(132)   https://www.eionet.europa.eu/countries/national-reference-centres/nrc-on-soil  
(133)   https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe/missions-horizon-europe/soil-health-and-food_en  
(134)   http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/regional-partnerships/europe/en/  
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