EU Green Deal: European Commission adopts new proposals to stop deforestation, innovate sustainable waste management and make soils healthy for people, nature and climate!

On the 17th of November, the European Commission adopted three new initiatives that are necessary for making the European Green Deal a reality.

The European Commission proposed new rules to curb EU-driven deforestation, as well as new rules to facilitate intra-EU waste shipments to promote circular economy and tackle the export of illegal waste and waste challenges to third countries, as well as a new Soil strategy to have all European soils restored, resilient, and adequately protected by 2050.

Amongst the two other initiatives, the European Commission presented in more details a new EU Soil Strategy (and its working document) – an important deliverable of the European Green Deal and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 for tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. Healthy soils are the foundation for 95% of the food we eat, they host more than 25% of the biodiversity in the world, and are the largest terrestrial carbon pool on the planet. Yet, 70% of soils in the EU are not in a good condition.

The Strategy sets a framework with concrete measures for the protection, restoration and sustainable use of soils and proposes a set of voluntary and legally binding measures. This strategy aims to increase the soil carbon in agricultural land, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, and ensure that by 2050, all soil ecosystems are in a healthy condition. The Strategy calls also for ensuring the same level of protection to soil that exists for water, the marine environment and air in the EU. This will be done through a proposal by 2023 for a new Soil Health Law, following an impact assessment and broad consultation of stakeholders and Member States. The Strategy also mobilises the necessary societal engagement and financial resources, shared knowledge, and promotes sustainable soil management practices and monitoring, supporting the EU ambition for global action on soil.

From Agroecology Europe side, we will now analyse the proposed initiative on Soil Health and will come back to you for any further common activities on this important issue