Healthy Soil, Happy Nature – Kind of

EU legislators have reached a compromised on the Soil Monitoring Law

Originally, the goal of the EU Soil Monitoring Law is to achieve healthy soils by 2050. The law was going to achieve this goal by addressing key soil threats such as erosion, floods and landslides, loss of soil organic matter, salinization, contamination, compaction, sealing, and the loss of soil biodiversity.

As mentioned before, the compromise however went less in favor of the original goals of this law due to the new adjustments. For instance, the overarching and non-binding objective of achieving healthy soils by 2050 was not made in a legally binding target.  The Committee decided to make the planning of soil districts and acting against land being used for artificial roads etc. voluntary rather than mandatory. Finally, the article about sustainable soil management was weakened significantly, with once again making the ideal principles for soil management voluntary rather than mandatory.

While the compromise that was reached was clearly far from ideal, there were a few positives. To start off, the incorporation of a new monitoring and assessment structure which adopts a holistic approach by including indicators such as degradation factors and ecological functions was commendable. Also, the introduction of a timeline which requires Member States to improve soil and involve more public participation was also beneficial as well.

With all that said, the adoption of this position is an important step forward that is welcomed. Now we must shift our attention and focus on the European Parliament plenary vote which is scheduled for April 11th. Author: Liam McCarthy

European Commission