Unveiling the path to soil health: SOLO project launches open review of mission plans

5 February 2024

Healthy soils are essential for life on Earth, supporting our food systems, providing clean water, and fostering biodiversity. Furthermore they contribute to climate resilience, support cultural heritage, shape landscapes and underpin economic prosperity.However, soils are under multiple pressures, from climate change and urbanisation pollution, overexploitation, nutrient mining and biodiversity loss. According to the European Commission, it’s estimated  that 60-70% of our soils are unhealthy under current management practices.

The EU Mission 'A Soil Deal for Europe' is leading the transition towards healthy soils by 2030, and research is key to achieving its eight ambitious objectives. In this context, the EU-funded SOLO project has brought together a series of groups of key stakeholders called Think Tanks that will co-develop the European Union Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe roadmaps by identifying research needs and knowledge gaps. These roadmaps are designed to address research needs and bridge knowledge gaps crucial to achieving the mission’s eight objectives: 

  • Reduce land degradation

  • Conserve and increase soil organic carbon stocks

  • No net soil sealing and increase the reuse of urban soils

  • Reduce soil pesticide pollution and enhance restoration

  • Prevent erosion

  • Reduce the EU global footprint on soils

  • Improve soil structure

  • Increase soil literacy in Member States

  • Nature conservation of soil biodiversity

Each Think Tank, led by different SOLO partners, aligns with a specific Soil Mission objective. The first draft versions of these roadmaps are now available on the project’s website as part of an open and participatory review process. Stakeholders and experts are encouraged to actively engage in this crucial phase, providing feedback and comments until the conclusion of  the open review process on February 15th.  

If this has caught your attention and you wish to help shape the future of Europe’s soils, don’t miss the opportunity to review the draft documents on any of the topics outlined –   please register here. You can find all documents ready to review at this link. In case of having issues with the registration process please contact roger.roca@iclei.org

Take the chance to make a positive impact on the future of Europe's soils!