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Sound and independent information
on the environment

You are here: Home / Signals — well-being and the environment
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Publication EEA Report 2/2006 - Integration of environment into EU agriculture policy - the IRENA indicator-based assessment report
This report aims to provide a fair reflection of the progress, the achievements and obstacles in the integration of environmental concerns into EU agriculture policy, based on indicators developed in the IRENA operation (see Section 1.3). It also tackles limitations to successful policy implementation at Member State level, and challenges ahead.
Located in Publications
Figure Degree of soil sealing across Europe
The map shows soil sealing degree ranging from 0 - 100% in aggregated spatial resolution (100 x 100 m).
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
File Melting Arctic: Environmental Atlas of Europe — Greenland
Last year alone there were 50 more melting days on the Greenland ice sheet than on average, meaning we now see an average net loss of ice mass of 200 gigatons per year - a level that is four times higher than just back in the year 2000.
Located in The Environmental Atlas Melting arctic Video
Figure Losses of agricultural areas to urbanisation
Graph showing estimated loss of agricultural land in 20 EU countries due to urbanization between 1990 and 2000 based on an analysis of CORINE Land Cover Data
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Publication Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment
Nearly all of the food and fibres used by humans are produced on soil. Soil is also essential for water and ecosystem health. It is second only to the oceans as a global carbon sink, with an important role in the potential slowing of climate change. Soil functions depend on a multitude of soil organisms which makes it an important part of our biodiversity. Nevertheless, soil in many parts of Europe is being over-exploited, degraded and irreversibly lost due to impacts from industrial activities and land use change, leading to soil sealing, contamination, erosion and loss of organic carbon. Due to these problems, legislation for the protection of soils has been proposed at EU level.
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Thematic assessments
SOER Key fact Soil - key fact 2
Europe's soils store about 73 to 79 billion tonnes of carbon. Some 45 % of soils in Europe have a low or very low organic matter content (meaning 0-2 % organic carbon) and 45 % have a medium content (meaning 2-6 % organic carbon).
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key facts
SOER Key fact Soil - key fact 3
Some authors estimate 36 % of European subsoils as having high or very high susceptibility to compaction. Other sources report 32 % of soils being highly vulnerable and 18 % moderately affected. (The use of heavy machinery in agriculture can induce ‘soil compaction’, which reduces its capacity to store and conduct water, makes it less permeable for plant roots and increases the risk of soil loss by water erosion.)
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key facts
SOER Message Soil — key message 1
Soil is a largely non-renewable natural resource that underpins a range of vital ecosystem services. Soil organisms play a key role in soil processes, such as bio-geochemical cycles, organic matter decomposition, and nitrogen transformation. Maintaining soil biodiversity is therefore a key concern.
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
SOER Message Soil — key message 3
Soil erosion by wind and water, largely the result of unsuitable land management, deforestation, overgrazing, construction activities and forest fires, affects around 17% of Europe’s land area. Erosion rates and extents are expected to continue to reflect changing patterns of land use and climate change.
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
SOER Message Soil — key message 4
Soil is being lost due to intensive soil sealing – about 4% of Europe’s total land area is sealed and the demand for urbanisation and transport infrastructure is rising. In addition, it is estimated that around 18% of agricultural soils are affected by compaction.
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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