EU Soil Strategy and regulation of soil health
Towards the end of 2021 the European Commission published the EU Soil Strategy for 2030, with the aim to achieve good soil health by 2050. According to the Commission, 60 to 70 per cent of the soil in the EU is not healthy, which is why focus should be placed on raising the level of soil protection.
The EU Soil Strategy aims to ensure that by 2050:
- all soil ecosystems in the EU are healthy and more resilient and can thus provide their vital services in future as well,
- there is no net land take, i.e. new land is no longer taken into use, and soil pollution has fallen to a level at which it no longer causes harm to human health or ecosystems,
- protection and sustainable management of soil and restoration of degraded soil have become common practices.
As part of the Strategy’s implementation, the Commission has published a proposal for a directive on soil health (Soil Monitoring Law), which is part of the European Green Deal.
- Proposal for a Directive on Soil Monitoring (Soil Monitoring Act) on the website of the European Commission
- EU Commission wants to improve soil health | Press release 5 July 2023 (in Finnish)
The proposal includes measures with which to:
- set up soil health criteria
- monitor soil health and report on the monitoring results to the Commission
- identify contaminated sites and reducing the risks associated with them
- promote sustainable use of soil
- develop soil health certification
The proposal will be negotiated under the codecision procedure. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union may propose changes, or amendments, to the Commission’s proposal for a directive. The negotiations will begin in Brussels this autumn. Finland's position on the proposal will be published in September.
A report on the state of soil in Finland has been published
The Ministry of the Environment has published a report that provides information on the current state of soil in Finland and its monitoring. The ‘MaaTieto’ report also examines the state of the soil of arable and forest land, mires and urban and built-up areas in Finland, and soil contamination as a separate theme.
The report was drawn by the Finnish Environment Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland and Geological Survey of Finland. It supports preparations for the negotiations on the soil directive with the other EU Member States.
- MaaTieto report (in Finnish)
- Report: The monitoring of the state of soil in Finland must be developed. | Press release issued on 19 June (in Finnish)
Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Environment
tel. +358 295 250 224