The new EU Soil Observatory tool maps soil degradation


61% of the land in the European Union is in poor condition, according to a new map.

The tool works with a total of 15 indicators which make it possible for the first time to clearly monitor the condition of the soil in the EU. According to the new dashboard, 61% of them are in an unhealthy state. Detailed analyses indicate that the main problems of European soil are the loss of organic carbon, the lack of biodiversity and the degradation of peatlands. It is also often a combination of these three.

The EU Soil Observatory tool was created by the cooperation of the European Soil Data Centre, the European Environment Agency and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The main novelty is the setting of threshold values for soil degradation processes that help determine their vulnerability to harmful processes. In the future, the map should also take into account local threshold values, due to the different types of soil and biomes in the EU, and thus increase the accuracy of the entire tool.

As a result, the map and its indicators serve mainly as a supporting tool for the upcoming proposal, which aims to tackle soil health and its restoration, but also as a tool for EU Mission: Soil projects.

You can find more information on the methodology and indicators on the website of the European Commission.

The map can be found on the EU Soil Observatory website.