Over 200,000 European Citizens have signed an ECI petition calling on the EU to protect its soil. ECI – European Citizens’ Initiative – is a type of petition that can potentially lead to the initiation of legislation. However one million signatures were needed for this process to begin. Nevertheless, significant momentum for improving European soil has been mobilised.
People4Soil, which initiated and drove this ECI petition, states: “The European strategies for protecting biodiversity and combating climate change should focus on soil: the EU must develop a roadmap towards a land degradation neutral world”
This land degradation neutral world is in fact something the EU has signed up to, via the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
People4Soil adds: “Although soil is facing many threats, there still isn’t a specific EU law establishing shared principles and rules to halt such degradation of our precious soils.”
A network of more than 550 local organisations and groups from 26 Member States has supported this ECI. The petition closed after a year of campaigning on 12 September, 2017 with more than 212,000 signatures from all EU countries. Ireland and Italy were the two countries that reached their quorum.
The People4Soil ECI committee said: “We want Europe to acknowledge soil as its most strategic environmental resource, as it ensures food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change regulation. That is why we’ll deliver the signatures to Vice president Frans Timmermans, requesting the Commission to locate the road map for a Soil Framework Directive within their priorities and fulfil the international commitments. Let’s take this support as the starting point to push our politicians to change national policy and to encourage our representative in the European Parliament to advocate for change in Brussels.”
ARC2020 is one of the partner organisations to this ECI. We will keep our readers informed of the next steps European citizens take in protecting our soils.
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