EU Parliament Pushes For Soil Health Improvements By 2050

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News in Brief:

– EU Parliament’s Environment Committee advances draft report, setting timeline for member states to improve soil health within six to ten years.|
– Urgent action needed as 60-70% of European soils suffer from degradation, highlighting pressing need for comprehensive legislative measures.

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) has set forth a compelling draft report aimed at enhancing the ecological well-being of EU soils within a defined timeline.

Under the visionary leadership of liberal MEP Martin Hojsík, the rapporteur on the file, a consensus was reached to propel soil quality improvements, urging member states to undertake necessary measures within six to ten years.

EU soil monitoring law

The ENVI committee’s endorsement of the Commission’s proposal marks a significant stride toward establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework to combat soil degradation. This legislative endeavor, presented as part of the EU’s soil strategy in 2021, aspires to accord soil the protected status it merits, akin to air and water. This pivotal legislation addresses longstanding calls from MEPs and environmental advocates for heightened soil protection measures.

Alarming statistics reveal that approximately 60-70% of European soils languish in a state of distress, characterised by prevalent issues such as the depletion of soil organic carbon, loss of biodiversity, and the looming threat of peatland (naturally wet and carbon-rich soil) degradation. The pressing need to reverse this trend underscores the urgency of the proposed measures.

Charting a course for rehabilitation

The draft report mandates EU countries to embark on a trajectory of soil recovery, delineating specific timelines for achieving incremental improvements. Critical targets include upgrading ‘critically degraded soils’ to a more stable state within a decade, while soils classified as ‘degraded’ must demonstrate marked enhancement within six years. This tiered approach empowers member states to adopt tailored monitoring strategies, fostering a culture of proactive soil stewardship.

Despite commendable progress, concerns linger regarding the efficacy of the proposed legislation. The absence of intermediary benchmarks to ensure timely progress toward the 2050 goal is a notable drawback highlighted by environmental advocacy groups. As the text awaits deliberation at the upcoming plenary session, the path toward consensus with member states remains uncertain, underscoring the complexities inherent in navigating EU legislative processes.

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.


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