The EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) has developed a new tool, the Soil Health Dashboard, which is a key element of the EU Soil Strategy for 2030. The dashboard aims to specify the conditions required for healthy soils, identify options for soil monitoring and establish rules for sustainable soil use and restoration, in support of the European Commission’s forthcoming proposal for a soil health law and the indicators proposed by the Soil Mission of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.
The EUSO Soil Health Dashboard is based on a set of 15 indicators covering nine themes: soil erosion, soil pollution, nutrients, soil organic carbon loss, soil biodiversity loss, soil compaction, soil salinisation, soil organic matter loss and soil sealing. The dashboard is based on the scientific evidence available to date, but covers only a subset of the degradation processes affecting soils. The EUSO team hopes that the dashboard will highlight the current gaps in soil data and guide improved data sharing and targeted research.
The dashboard is a novel approach that uses a convergence of evidence approach, spatially combining datasets to highlight the intensity and location of soil degradation processes. It provides a map showing the areas likely to be affected by soil degradation, indicating where unhealthy soils may be located in the EU. The map is based on EU-wide harmonised datasets, most of which were developed by the JRC and provided by the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and other institutions.
The EUSO Soil Health Dashboard also shows overlaps between pairs of the 15 soil degradation processes, highlighting typical associations. Thresholds have been set for each soil degradation process to determine when soils can be considered healthy or unhealthy, based on a combination of scientific estimates and established critical limits.
According to the dashboard, a staggering 61% of EU soils are in an unhealthy state, with the most common types of soil degradation being loss of soil organic carbon, loss of soil biodiversity and risk of peatland degradation. The dashboard shows that most unhealthy soils are subject to more than one type of soil degradation, indicating that the soil restoration agenda needs to address different types of soil degradation.
The set of indicators, together with thresholds for soil health status, will evolve in line with the implementation of the forthcoming EU soil health legislation, scientific developments and improved data flows from EU countries. Additional elements will be developed to reflect the implementation of specific policy strategies and legislation, such as the Zero Pollution Action Plan, the Biodiversity Strategy, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Lost your password?
If you would like to receive information about the NOVASOIL project and how you can improve the health of your soil, please leave us your contact details.
Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.
Suggested text: Our website address is: http://novasoil-project.eu.
Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.
Suggested text: If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.
Suggested text: If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.
When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select "Remember Me", your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.
If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.
Suggested text: Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
Suggested text: If you request a password reset, your IP address will be included in the reset email.
Suggested text: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.
For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.
Suggested text: If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
Suggested text: Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.