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Opportunities for soil sustainability in Europe

This report identifies opportunities to safeguard the soils as a valuable resource for the benefit of European citizens. The proposed measures include: Protect and restore peatlands to maintain and increase soil organic carbon; plan for housing, infrastructure etc. to minimise destruction of soils; include soil in initiatives to preserve biodiversity.

EASAC report "Opportunities for soil sustainability in Europe"
Image: EASAC

Soils provide numerous essential ecosystem services, ranging from climate regulation, support of plant growth in agriculture and forestry to moderation of flood risks, water purification, large-scale carbon storage to the support of biodiversity. However, despite these essential roles, soils are threatened by sealing, compaction, reductions in quality, erosion as well as by being insufficiently included in sustainability planning.

A multidisciplinary group of experts examined current scientific results concerning how to ensure the sustainability of Europe’s soils. This work was conducted under the umbrella of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC). Delegated by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, Marcel van der Heijden (Agroscope) and Johan Six (ETH Zurich) served as members of the EASAC expert group.

Edition / Volume: EASAC Policy Report, 36
Pages: v, 41p.
Standard identifier: 978-3-8047-3898-0