ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
ECN E-BULLETIN No. 10_2020
10 November 2020
European Compost Network

Save Organics in Soil - Biological Cycle and Sustainable Agriculture

On the 13th October 2020 members of the European Parliament heard how bio-waste can be better recycled, soil fertility maintained and climate change mitigated at an online event organised by the European Compost Network (ECN) co-hosted by MEP Franc Bogovič (EPP, Slovenia) and Elsi Katainen (Renew Europe, Finland).
By working together, farmers, soil scientists, waste-operators, policymakers and any other interested stakeholders can ensure a better future for the next generation, where soil health is restored and conserved.

During the event, panellists outlined good practice examples of the circular economy in action that, thanks to the use of recycled compost, improve both the quality and health of Europe’s soils and also help mitigate climate change2. Compost recycled from bio-waste can be effectively used as an organic soil improver. On average, one tonne of fresh compost contains 300 kg of organic matter. Application of 30 tonnes of fresh compost per hectare per year will return nine tonnes of organic matter to the soil.

More than 80 delegates joined the webinar ‘Save organics in soil – biological cycle and sustainable agriculture’. The day showed that policymakers, economic operators, research centres and civil society share an interest in establishing an open dialogue with all key stakeholders. Keep soil healthy, carbon sequestration and awareness raising are the key words that emerged during the contributions and that indicate the way forward to 2030. All participants recognised that the challenges of maintaining soil quality are of paramount importance in realising the vision of the European Green Deal3, in which Europe achieve net-zero CO2 emissions. Soil is recognised as a means to store some of the excess greenhouse gases that our systems have not been able to abate. The operators of the agriculture sector are at the forefront of turning the challenges into opportunities and some of them shared their story of using recycled compost to offset mineral fertilisers, restore the quality of soil and close the biological cycle.
The speakers came from different sectors: policymaking; waste management; soil science; agriculture and viticulture. They were, Mr Mirco Barbero (European Commission); MEP Franc Bogovič, Mr Marco Giacomazzi (European Compost Network), Ms Jane Gilbert (International Solid Waste Association), MEP Elsi Katainen; Mr Luca Montanarella (European Commission) and Mr João Vasconcelos Porto (Sogrape Vinhos Portugal).

The full press release can be downloaded here.
The programme and the presentations of the event can be accessed here.

EU Commission

Roadmap on Healthy Soil for Healthy Life published

Eu Commission
On 5th of November 2020 the European Commission has published the roadmap ‘New Soil Strategy - healthy soil for healthy life’. The public consultation is open until 3rd December 2020.

Soil is an essential ecosystem that delivers valuable services such as the provision of food, energy and raw materials, carbon sequestration, water purification, nutrient regulation, pest control, and support for biodiversity and recreation. In the EU, land and soil continue to be degraded by a wide range of human activities, often combined with other factors. In absence of a dedicated legislative framework, EU soil protection policy is shaped by the EU Soil Thematic Strategy and provisions in a number of other policy instruments, for instance, the Industrial Emissions Directive, the Environmental Liability Directive, the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the EU forest strategy and the Common Agricultural Policy. Now, with the new published roadmap the European Commission is stepping forward.

The European Compost Network (ECN) welcomes the publication of the roadmap on a ‘New Soil Strategy’ for Europe, as we are calling within our initiative on ‘Save Organics in Soil’ on a Soil Framework Directive. ECN will feedback on the roadmap and will actively follow the development on the ’New Soil Strategy’ in its dedicated Task Group on ‘Soil & Organic Matter’. We invite all our members to take part in the public consultation!

The roadmap on the ‘New Soil Strategy’ and the consultation can be accessed here.
Further info on ‘Soil and Land’ can be accessed on the Commission’s website here.

EU Council Conclusion

EU Agriculture Ministers call for special emphasis on soil organic matter to achieve a sustainable food system

Press release 21/10/2020: The European Compost Network (ECN) welcomes the Council conclusions on the farm to fork strategy, that EU Agriculture ministers adopted on 19 October 2020. With these conclusions, EU ministers highlight the sustainable character of carbon storage. The Council considers with interest the Commission’s intention to bring forward a new EU carbon farming initiative and to develop a …

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Baltic Sea Action Group

Healthy soil as a multi-benefit solution – Carbon Action goes Europe online

A further online seminar on soil carbon was organised on 29 October 2020 by the Baltic Sea Action Group. The webinar gathered at least over 130 participants, and it was funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland as part of the Carbon Action platform and stn MULTA project. In the Carbon Action platform farmers, scientists, companies, and decision-makers work closely together, which was also reflected in the programme of the webinar.

The webinar took place after the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers had agreed on their respective positions on the new Common Agricultural Policy and the European Parliament had agreed on their position on the new EU Climate Law. Two focal MEP’s for the policies, Elsi Katainen (Renew Europe), the vice-chair of the Agricultural committee of the European Parliament and rapporteur of the CAP transitional legislation and Jytte Guteland (S&D), rapporteur of the Climate package, co-costed the webinar. The webinar was moderated by Laura Höijer, Content Director of the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG). Several presentations on carbon farming practices at farm level as well as monitoring methodologies to evaluate the soil organic carbon followed.

The recording of the webinar can be accessed here:
The presentations of the webinar can be accessed here:
European Compost Network

ECN’s Annual meeting 2020 welcomes new Board member

The Annual meeting 2020 of the European Compost Network took place as online meeting on 12 October 2020. ECN’s Chair, Kristel Vandenbroek, opened the meeting and pointed out that ECN with its 64 members from 27 European Countries is representing the bio-waste sector in Europe. More than 45 million tonnes of bio-waste per year are treated in around 4500 composting and anaerobic digestion plants across Europe. Since the last Annual meeting eight new members joined ECN, who were warmly welcomed by the Chair.

The Executive Director, Stefanie Siebert, and ECN’s Policy Officer, Marco Giacomazzi reported about ECN’s work and emphasized the importance of the European Green Deal. With the ECN/CIC initiative on ‘Save Organics in Soil’ launched in October 2019, ECN has underlined the importance of soil organic matter and stressed the use of compost and digestate as high-quality recycled organic materials to be acknowledged in carbon farming systems.

Besides formal meeting procedures, Board elections took place. Horst Müller from the Austrian Compost and Biogas Association (KBVÖ) was newly elected on the Board. Tomasz Wojciechowski from GWDA Poland was re-elected for a further Board election period of three years. Cristina Feodorov from the Romanian Compost Association was entitled to replace her colleague Alin Murariu in the ECN Board. As new account auditor Thomas Terpetschnig from W.L. Gore & Associates GmbH was elected by the Annual meeting.

Further information about ECN and the ECN membership list can be accessed here.
Public session on Bio-waste in Europe
The Annual meeting was introduced with a public session on ‘Bio-waste in Europe’. Almut Reichel, project manager in the group on 'Sustainable Resource Use and Industry' at the European Environment Agency (EEA) was invited as key speaker to present the EEA report on 'Bio-Waste in Europe - turning challenges into opportunities'. More than 40 participants followed the session and joined the discussion actively.

The presentation can be downloaded here.
08 - 10 December 2020

BIOGAS Convention 2020 International goes virtual!

The first virtual BIOGAS Convention International will take place from 08 to 10 December 2020. For the 30th time, players in the biogas sector will meet with experts from industry, science and business from all over the globe to discuss trending topics. Participants can look forward to getting the latest data and reports on biogas markets worldwide and can network for exciting new business prospects on our digital conference platform.

The BIOGAS Convention 2020 International is a fully digital conference and meeting platform. The program includes presentations and Q&A sessions on

- Biomethane: model show cases and strategies
- Biogas standards and "how to safety"
- European policies - RED II and other newest developments
- German biogas competence
- The future of biogas worldwide and innovation projects.

You can find the programme on

The conference allows you to network with participants from all over the world! Simply create a personal profile, arrange appointments and chat privately. Our BIOGAS Lounge is perfect for casual get-togethers via video chat.

Online tickets:

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