EU Soils Thematic Strategy

The EU Soils Thematic Strategy was adopted by the European Commission in September 2006, along with a draft Soils Framework Directive and Impact Assessment.

Purpose of the strategy

This soil thematic strategy seeks to:

  • establish common principles for the protection and sustainable use of soils
  • prevent threats to soils, and mitigate the effects of those threats
  • preserve soil functions within the context of sustainable use
  • restore degraded and contaminated soils to approved levels of functionality

As drafted there are four key elements to the Directive:

  • identification of areas at risk of soil erosion, organic matter decline, compaction, salinisation and landslides and for Member States to establish programmes of measures
  • measures to address soil contamination including actions on Member States to establish an inventory of contaminated sites, production of soil status reports and establishing a national strategy for remediation of contaminated sites identified
  • measures on soil sealing requiring Member States to take appropriate steps to minimise soil sealing and its effects
  • awareness raising, reporting and exchange of information

The strategy can be accessed from the European Commission website.

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