The EU Mission Soil launches its Manifesto
The Mission Soil Manifesto highlights the urgent need for action to protect soil health. It represents a key step for further local engagement by mobilising regions, municipalities, organisations, businesses, schools and other stakeholders, as well as citizens. All of them can now become part of a community that cares for and acts on soil health. During the launch event, participants were introduced to the Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ (Mission Soil) and its Manifesto. In his video address to the launch event, Commissioner Wojciechowski welcomed the Manifesto and underlined the unprecedented mobilisation behind the Mission Soil. In less than 2 years since its launch, Member States and Associated Countries have carried out a wide range of initiatives with a direct link to the Mission. Examples of local soil initiatives demonstrated the successful deployment of the Mission Soil across European regions and municipalities.
About the EU Mission Soil
The Mission Soil supports the creation of 100 living labs (places for on-the-ground experiments) and lighthouses (sites for showcasing good practices) that lead the transition towards healthy soils in rural and urban areas by 2030. The Mission Soil also carries out an ambitious research and innovation programme, advances soil monitoring in the EU, and increases the public’s participation for soil protection and restoration. Since its launch in 2021, over 300 million euros have been dedicated to its research agenda. Applications for the submission of research and innovation proposals under the latest work programme are open until 20 September 2023.
Sign the Mission Soil Manifesto
The Mission Soil Manifesto aims to bring regional and local policy-makers, stakeholders and citizens together into a vibrant community that cares for soil health. It aims to foster local knowledge, innovation and investment by raising awareness that in order to protect our soils we must strive for more. Signatories of the document will recognise the need for action for soil health and will be able to engage in activities for improving soil health. They will have access to the latest research results, along with the opportunity to take part in knowledge sharing activities and events to exchange best practices for our soils.
The voluntary document can be signed by representatives of municipalities, regions, private or public companies and organisations, NGOs and philanthropic organisations, schools and education institutions, as well as by research institutions. Individuals can also sign the Manifesto and become “Friends of the Mission Soil”.
By signing the Mission Soil Manifesto, organisations and individuals can demonstrate their commitment to soil health protection and restoration and help to build momentum towards a more sustainable future. By becoming a soil advocate, anyone can make sure that no soil is being left alone.
The Manifesto will be also presented at the Committee of the Regions, on 20 April 2023 in Tampere, Finland.
Signatories of the Manifesto will be celebrated in the first edition of the European Mission Soil Fair that will take place in November this year. This will be a moment to raise awareness on the importance of soil, invite stakeholders to exchange good practices and take stock of the research activities implemented so far. A dedicated website will be equally created to serve as a one-stop-shop for further information and action.
Europe’s soils provide us with the basis for our food production, as well as essential ecosystem services such as supporting clean water, carbon capture and flourishing habitats for biodiversity. Despite their importance, about 60% of soils in Europe are considered to be “unhealthy”.
To improve the status of soils and continue to deliver these vital services, the European Commission, in 2021, set up the EU Missions with the goal to deliver tangible results for research and innovation, policy and practice by 2030.
Through its environmental objectives, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2023-27 ensures compliance with rules to protect soil and encourages farmers to take extra steps to improve soil management. Synergies between the CAP and the Mission Soil will be fully exploited, for example by scaling up solutions developed under the Mission through the CAP.