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Overview of the Development of EU Soil Policy: towards a EU Thematic Strategy for Soil I Protection

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

The European Commission is at the last stages of preparing a strategy to ensure that Europe's soils remain healthy and capable of supporting human activities and ecosystems. Soil is essential to our economic activities as it provides us with food, drinking water, biomass and raw materials - and all our human activities are somehow related to soil. But soil degradation is accelerating across the EU, with negative effects on human health, ecosystems and climate change - and on our economic prosperity and quality of life. To reverse this trend, the Commission's strategy will set a common EU framework for action to preserve, protect and restore soil, but leaving Member States flexibility to implement it in a way which fits local situations best. The Thematic Strategy on soil protection will comprise a Communication and a legislative proposal which might require Member States to tackle threats such as landslides, contamination, erosion, organic matter decline, compaction, salinisation and sealing wherever they occur, or threaten to occur, on their national territories. The Soils Strategy is number six of seven Thematic Strategies that the Commission is presenting, in accordance with the 6th Environmental Action Programme.

Affiliations: 1: European Commission, DG Environment


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