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6.1 Healthy soils for wealthy Europe

4 June 2015 - 16:30-18:00  

Soil is an essential, finite and non-renewable natural resource. No soil means: No food, no feed, no fuel and no fibre and a painful lack of vital ecosystem services. Key objectives of halting the loss of biodiversity, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and ensuring food security, will not be achieved without taking due care for soil.

Despite its crucial importance, soil is overlooked too often. Soil degradation comes at a price. Scarcity and competition drives also prices for food and land and hampers economic development.

It is therefore heartening that the UN designated 2015 the International Year of Soils.

This Green Week session will highlight the importance of sound land and soil management in Europe. It will address the dimension of land take in the EU and its main consequences on the environment, also presenting possible strategies to support a zero net land take approach.

Based on numerous studies and field experiments the influence of land management and land-use on soil life will be explained. What is the impact for the provision of ecosystem services, for example on soil fertility or water infiltration rate?

Recognition of the importance of productive and profitable farming alongside a healthy farmed environment will be another issue. What options are available to manage soil wisely in an intensive arable system, combining agri-environment schemes with additional voluntary activities.

Join us for an exchange of ideas and inspiring discussions!


Richard Bramley, Yorkshire Farmer, United Kingdom (National Farmers Union)

Dr Philippe Lemanceau, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)

Dr Michele Munafò, Head of Environmental Monitoring and Pressures Database Sector, Italian Institute for Environmental protection and Research (ISPRA)


Michael Hamell, Adjunct Professor of Agriculture, University College Dublin and former Head of Unit Agriculture Forests and Soil, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission

Watch the video