Legal Acts on Soil Protection

There is still no European-wide political concept for soil protection comparable to the concepts that exist for air and water. Soil protection and land conservation were first given central importance by the 6th EU Environmental Action Programme in 2001.

In this programme, the European Commission was asked to develop a comprehensive thematic soil protection strategy for Europe. The 2002 Communication on Soil Protection “Towards a Specific Soil Protection Strategy” was progressive and far-sighted.

It went on to produce a Soil Protection Directive. It included legislation to establish a Community-wide soil information and monitoring system and detailed recommendations for future action.

Its adoption failed most recently in 2010 because of Germany’s “no” vote, mainly due to pressure from the agroindustry lobby.

The German Federal Soil Protection Act (BBSG) does contain a reference to agricultural management in paragraph 17. But here it only refers to “good farming practice” and this is still not defined.

As part of its biodiversity strategy, the EU Commission is once again attempting to establish EU-wide soil protection regulations. It is of immense importance for the sustainable use of this sensitive resource that this regulation is not blocked again.

I support this process – also in the context of my advisory work for various EU institutions.

Offer: Agricultural soil protection – laws, initiatives, funding opportunities – lecture or seminar.

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