Daily, soil is under increasing pressure from intensive agricultural practices, pollution and climate change. It’s an alarming reality, given that soil is one of the vital resources assuring food security, along with clean water and biodiversity. By promoting sustainable agricultural practices and educating the public and industry players about the crucial importance of soil, we can protect these resources critical to future generations.

However, to achieve this, innovation plays a key role. That’s why the Soil Mission funds ambitious research and innovation programs to develop sustainable and practical solutions to soil-related problems.

This represents a concerted effort by the European Union to counter agricultural land degradation and promote sustainable soil management, given that between 61% of European soils are considered unhealthy, underscoring the need for urgent action to protect fragile soil resources for future generations. The most prevalent types of soil degradation include loss of soil organic carbon (53%), loss of soil biodiversity (37%) and risk of peatland degradation (30%). In addition, the dashboard shows that most unhealthy soils are prone to more than one type of soil degradation.

Through the Soil Mission, the EU aims to achieve several key objectives, including the conservation and improvement of soil health, given its importance for our well-being and maintaining balanced ecosystems. Soils are fundamental to producing food, textiles, timber, and other materials, providing clean water, conserving biodiversity, facilitating the movement of nutrients, regulating the climate, and are an essential part of our cultural and landscape heritage.

It is important to note that a single centimetre of soil can take hundreds of years to form but can be lost in a single storm or industrial incident. By promoting sustainable agricultural practices and monitoring and reducing soil pollution, the Mission aims to reduce desertification and soil pollution, thus contributing to halting degradation processes and improving soil quality throughout Europe.

Another priority is to increase public awareness of the vital importance of soil to the environment, human health, and economic prosperity, with public education and information essential to promoting responsible soil management practices.

The EU aims to fund an ambitious research and innovation programme focusing on the social sciences to develop sustainable and practical solutions to soil problems.

Through living labs and lighthouses, the Mission facilitates the testing and demonstration of innovative practices and technologies in actual field conditions, which helps to encourage large-scale adoption of sustainable solutions and knowledge sharing among different stakeholders.

The new soil health dashboard from the European Union Soil Observatory highlights the location of unhealthy soils and their proportion. The European Soil Observatory (EUSO) offers a new tool: the Soil Health Scoreboard, which aims to support the European Commission’s upcoming proposal for a Soil Health Law, part of the European Union’s 2030 Soil Strategy.

Thus, this represents a firm commitment of the European Union to protect and conserve vital soil resources. Promoting sustainable agricultural practices, reducing soil pollution and raising public awareness allows us to remedy this situation and ensure a sustainable future for future generations.

With a focus on sustainable agricultural practices, innovation, and public awareness, the EU strives to protect this vital resource for current and future generations. The EU aims to mitigate soil degradation, preserve soil health, and promote environmental sustainability by investing in research, implementing practical solutions, and fostering collaboration between different actors. Through these concerted efforts, we can work to ensure a resilient and prosperous future where soil remains a cornerstone of food security, biodiversity, and ecological balance.

Through its active collaboration with the Soil Mission, InBestSoil adds value to our joint efforts to promote sustainable agricultural practices and conserve essential natural resources for the future.

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