At the last ECN Board meeting on 12 December, LIPOR’s president Fernando Leite signed S.O.S initiative Save Organics in Soil’. So far, more than 50 organisations have signed the manifesto. The main priority goals are to encourage policy makers to develop instruments to move Europe towards implementing sustainable, climate-proof land management practices.
The urgency for the wider land use sectors to increase efforts to address climate mitigation and adaptation has increased since the signing and ratification of the Paris Agreement, with its ambitious targets. Therefore, the fresh challenge for policy makers is to develop instruments to better balance private and societal interests while swiftly moving towards sustainable, climate-proof land management practices, according to few priorities, such as:
- Protecting the existing carbon stock of carbon rich soils. It is a priority to ensure the protection of remaining carbon rich soils where they occur in Europe, both through preventing the ploughing of those soils already under permanent grassland and minimizing further losses of carbon from cultivated carbon rich soils;
- Maintaining soil organic matter by respecting the biological cycle. Therefore, adding stabilised organic matter from the biological treatment of sustainable biomass (e.g. bio-waste) should be promoted;
- Minimising losses of, and increasing, soil organic matter on all soils;
- Encouraging the use of recycled nutrients and the more efficient management of nutrients on agricultural land. This would not only benefit the climate but also be particularly beneficial to improve water and air quality.
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ECN will further collect signatories to urge the Commission and the Member States to take actions on soil protection and measures to maintain and increase soil organic matter. With the new EU Green Deal and the Sustainable Goals the frame is set: the Farm to Fork strategy, the CAP 2020 reform, the Biodiversity strategy and the Green Financing Strategy are essential policy measures for achieving the climate goals.
The Manifesto 'Save Organics in Soils' can be signed online here.
More information on the S.O.S. Initiative is available here.