ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
ECN E-BULLETIN No. 01_2021
19 January 2021
EU Biodiversity Strategy

ENVI Committee calls for legislative proposal to protect soil

After the public hearing onFacing the sixth mass extinction and increasing risk of pandemics: what role for the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030’ in the European Parliament, the rapporteur of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament, Césare Luena (S&D), has presented the draft report on the Biodiversity Strategy on 13th of January 2021. The report underlines the importance of soil health on biodiversity and to combat against soil degradation and desertification.
The ENVI Committee ‘underlines that the Biodiversity Strategy’s actions must adequately tackle all five main direct drivers of change in nature: changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution; and invasive alien species.’ Referring to ‘changes in land and sea use’ and ‘Climate change’ the Committee
  • highlights that soil biodiversity is the basis for key ecological processes; notes with concern the increased soil degradation and the lack of specific EU legislation; calls on the Commission to submit a legislative proposal for the establishment of a common framework for the protection and sustainable use of soil that includes a specific decontamination target,
  • recalls that the EU has committed to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030, but that this target is unlikely to be achieved; calls on the Commission, therefore, to present an EU-level strategy on desertification and land degradation, and
  • expresses its concern that the majority of the ranges of terrestrial species will decrease significantly in a 1.5 to 2°C scenario; highlights, therefore, the need to prioritise nature-based solutions in meeting climate mitigation goals and in adaptation strategies and to increase the protection of natural carbon sinks in the EU.
The report has finally to be adopted in the plenary of the European Parliament in the next months. The report of the ENVI committee can be assessed here.
EU Commission I Closing date: 05/04/2021

Public consultation on the Biodiversity Strategy

The EU Commission has launched the public consultation on the Biodiversity Strategy. The public consultation is open until 5th of April
The purpose of this consultation is to gather information and feedback from stakeholders and the wider public on the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and on the application of the EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species, as well as to inform the Impact Assessment that will underpin the Commission’s proposal for binding EU nature restoration targets.
The main objective of the EU initiative is to restore degraded ecosystems, in particular those with the most potential to:
  • Capture and store carbon,
  • Prevent and reduce the impact of natural disasters
  • Deliver further benefits, such as soil health and pollination
  • Improve knowledge and monitoring of ecosystems and their services.
This consultation covers three separate EU biodiversity policy initiatives:
  1. The evaluation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (2011-2020),
  2. The review of the application of the EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species,
  3. The development of legally binding EU nature restoration targets: a key commitment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
These policy initiatives are inter-connected. The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 set the EU biodiversity policy framework for the period 2011-2020. The evaluation of the Strategy is ongoing. The EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species was adopted in implementation of Target 5 of the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. In May 2020, the Commission published a Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. One of the core commitments in the Strategy is to propose, by the end of 2021, a legally binding instrument setting EU targets to restore damaged ecosystems by 2030.

Binding EU Nature restoration targets
The 3rd initiative 'The development of legally binding EU nature restoration targets: a key commitment of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030' is related to the 'Inception Impact Assessment on the EU nature restoration targets'. Please take part in this consultation as you can stress in your response the importance on soil health and carbon sequestration.

The public consultation on nature restoration targets can be assessed here.
FAO Report

State of knowledge of soil biodiversity

There is increasing attention on the importance of biodiversity for food security and nutrition, especially above-ground biodiversity such as plants and animals. However, less attention is being paid to the biodiversity beneath our feet, soil biodiversity, which drives many processes that produce food or purify soil and water.
This summary for policy makers presents the key findings of the main report and is the result of an inclusive process involving more than 300 scientists from around the world under the auspices of the FAO’s Global Soil Partnership and its Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative and the European Commission.
The summary for policy makers presents concisely the state of knowledge on soil biodiversity, the threats to it and the solutions that soil biodiversity can provide to problems in different fields. This report is a valuable contribution to raising awareness of the importance of soil biodiversity and highlighting its role in finding solutions to today's global threats.

Please watch and share the Global Soil Partnership (GSP - FAO) video on ‘Keep Soil Alive to Protect Soil Biodiversity
FAO Soil biodiversity
EU Commission I Fertilisng Product Regulation I Deadline: 01/02/2021

Public consultation on the final criteria for STRUBIAS materials

The EU Fertilisers Expert Group validated the finalised “STRUBIAS” criteria at the end of 2020, which define under what conditions struvite & precipitated phosphate salts, ash-based materials and biochars and pyrolysis materials will be included in the list of materials which can be used in future CE-marked fertilisers as component materials (CMC = Component Material Categories of the EU Fertilising Products Regulation).

The European Commission has published for public consultation (open to 1 February 2021) the finalised texts of the STRUBIAS criteria which will added be as component material categories to the EU Fertilising Products Regulation
The updated EU rules on fertilisers (Regulation 2019/1009) will apply from July 2022.

Call for abstracts until 24 January 2021

We warmly invite you to GrowingMedia2021, the 2nd International Symposium on Growing Media, Soilless Cultivation, and Compost Utilization in Horticulture (ISHS) to be held in the historic University city of Ghent, Belgium, from 22 until 27 August 2021. GrowingMedia2021 will be organised by ILVO, Ghent University and Hasselt University and held at PAC ‘Het Zuid’, Ghent, Belgium.

We invite abstract submissions for oral and poster presentations, on all topics related to the following research areas:
  • Growing media and sustainable use of resources
  • Integrated disease and pest control via interaction with the growing medium
  • Soilless cultivation: added value of innovations for water and nutrient use efficiency
  • Compost utilization in horticulture and its potential for carbon storage
Oral and poster presentations will be invited to cover the full spectrum of research, from theory to implementation and adoption by stakeholders.

Abstract submission is open from 1 December 2020 until 24 January 2021. Further info here.

Save the Date

16/09/2021 KBVÖ – 7th International practionner day for composting in Langenlois/NÖ (AT) organised by the Austrian Compost & Biogas Associaton:


European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Im Dohlenbruch 11, D-44795 Bochum
T: +49 (0) 234 438 9447
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Trade mark for certified quality assurance
organisations, compost and digestate products

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