Title: Review of Policies Addressing Soil Degradation Processes in European Agriculture - Findings of the Project 'Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation' (SoCo)
Authors: LOUWAGIE GeertruiGAY StephanSAMMETH FrankRATINGER Tomas
Citation: The International Conference of ESSC - Proceedings p. 22-25
Publisher: Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, European Society for Soil Conservation, Czech Society of Soil Science
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC51992
URI: http://www.vumop.cz/essc/conference_program.php; http://www.vumop.cz/essc/publication.php
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The project 'Sustainable agriculture and soil conservation' (SoCo) analysed the links between soil degradation processes, soil-friendly farming practices, and relevant policy measures in EU agriculture. The policy information was based on a literature review and a survey monitoring national and regional policy implementation, supplemented with details from ten case studies across the EU-27. To date, soil protection is not a specific objective of EU legislation; in order to close this gap, the Commission proposed a Soil Framework Directive which is still under discussion. Currently, some EU environmental directives are expected to have beneficial effects on soil quality (e.g. the Nitrates Directive), but to a limited extent owing to a more focused set of objectives. Parallel, environmental objectives are to be integrated in EU sectoral policies (Cardiff process), including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), where cross compliance and rural development measures stand out as important instruments. The study indicated that the existing policy measures have the potential to address all recognised soil degradation processes across the EU, even though not all policy measures are implemented in all Member States or regions. At present, their effectiveness for soil quality improvement is limited due to: the lack of specified reference and target levels and specific targeting of policies, as well as missing coordination between existing measures. Finally, a fully-fledged evaluation of policies will only be possible once indicators and consistent monitoring are established.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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