Good quality soil is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources, yet scientific evidence shows that soil is degrading throughout Europe.

The general public and experts are invited to give their views in the online consultation at the EU Soil Consultation website.

At present, 10% of EU soil is strongly or extremely affected by soil erosion, 45% has a low or very low organic matter content, 9% is built up and between 1 and 3 million hectares are affected by salinisation.

The 6th Environmental Action Programme, approved by the Council and European Parliament in 2002 and which runs until 2012, asks the Commission to present a thematic strategy on soil and this consultation will provide input to allow the strategy to be completed.

David Hopkins

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