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Brian Maxwell

EU Agriculture - European Commission consults on new EU Soil Strategy

Posted by Brian Maxwell on February 12th 2021 in AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL AFFAIRS .

On 2 February 2021, the European Commission launched a consultation on a new EU Soil Strategy. The consultation seeks views on the challenges and opportunities regarding land and soil ecosystem services, including the production of food, energy and raw materials, carbon sequestration, water purification, nutrient regulation and pest control.

The Soil Strategy will:

  • Address soil and land-related issues in a comprehensive way to prevent land degradation by 2030, which is one of the key targets of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs) (see Practice note, Environmental, social and governance (ESG): policy and legal measures: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)).
  • Consider how to protect soil fertility, reduce erosion and increase soil organic matter as well as identifying contaminated sites, restoring degraded soils, defining the conditions for their good ecological status and improving soil quality monitoring.
  • Take into account the EU's international commitments and input into the EU position at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The consultation closes on 28 April 2021. It follows the Commission's November 2020 roadmap on the new Soil Strategy (see Legal update, European Commission adopts roadmap on new EU Soil Strategy). The Commission is planning to adopt a proposal for the strategy in Q2 of 2021.

The consultation is the last in a suite of public consultations on delivering commitments in the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030, including on nature restoration targets, a Zero Pollution Ambition for air, water and soil, reviewing EU rules on land use, land‑use change and forestry, and the new EU Forest Strategy.

For background information on the Soil Strategy, the CBD and the EU Biodiversity Strategy, see Practice notes, EU Soil Strategy and Habitats and wildlife: international conventions.