9 February 2024

ICLEI puts forth recommendations to improve the Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience

Healthy soils play a critical role in sustainable urban development, influencing agricultural productivity, ecosystem functions, water quality, and climate resilience. This is why the European Commission’s Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience needs to incorporate the knowledge and expertise on soil management within local and regional governments, making their active involvement indispensable in effective soil conservation initiatives as well as in taking action in the contaminated areas.

In a recently published position paper, ICLEI outlines seven recommendations for enhancing the Directive:

  1. Include the Multilevel Governance approach and standardised processes
  2. Establish 2030 and other intermediary targets to ensure healthy soils by 2050
  3. Improve linkages with other EU legislation that highlights an action-oriented approach
  4. Identify clearer funding options in Article 17
  5. A systemic approach that is built on multilevel governance for potentially contaminated and contaminated sites
  6. Include Urban Areas and small scale stakeholders in the Soil Health Certificate
  7. Define Soil Districts that take urban areas into account

By incorporating these recommendations into the EU Soil Monitoring Law, we can collectively strengthen Europe's commitment to sustainable land management practices and contribute to the achievement of broader environmental and climate objectives.

These recommendations follows a paper published on ICLEI’s position on the EU Soil Strategy, published in 2022. It explores the Strategy’s vital framework to safeguard and promote the sustainable use of soils with objectives for achieving soil health by 2050, while also acknowledging gaps in the strategy and providing key recommendations for policy makers.