next
previous
items

Soil

Soil: the living treasure under our feet

Soil is a key component of Europe’s natural capital. It contributes to basic human needs by, among other things, supporting food provision and water purification. But our soils are threatened and undergoing degradation. Binding EU targets would be necessary if we are to restore and protect this essential resource.

Imperviousness in Europe

This interactive data viewer provides accounts of land surface sealing status and change in Europe (EEA39 and EU28) for every 3 years between 2006 and 2015, measured by the high resolution Copernicus imperviousness datasets. The viewer facilitates the assessment of soil sealing over a specific period, which can be analyzed within user defined spatial units such as administrative regions, biogeographical regions or land cover classes.

Land and soil underpin life on our planet. The way we currently use these vital and finite resources in Europe is not sustainable. Human activities — growing cities and infrastructure networks, intensive agriculture, pollutants and greenhouse gases released to the environment — transform Europe’s landscapes and exert increasing pressure on land and soil. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals 2019, published today, looks at a series of issues linked to land and soil, including links to climate change, agriculture, soil biodiversity, contamination and governance, and stresses why we need to manage them sustainably.

Published: 30 Sep 2019

We cannot live without healthy land and soil. It is on land that we produce most of our food and we build our homes. For all species — animals and plants living on land or water — land is vital. Soil — one of the essential components of land — is a very complex and often undervalued element, teeming with life. Unfortunately, the way we currently use land and soil in Europe and in the world is not sustainable. This has significant impacts on life on land.

Published: 15 Oct 2018

Land and soil provide vital resources to society such as food, feed, fuel, fibres and shelter. They also provide ecosystem services that support production functions, regulate the risk of natural hazards, and provide cultural and spiritual benefits. By using land, society alters and modifies the quantity and quality of these services, and the intrinsic potential for land benefits to mankind. To better manage its use of land and associated processes, society needs a systems (i.e. integrated) view on land. This briefing proposes an analytical framework that aims at developing a strategy for monitoring and integrated assessment of the state of land and its key resources.

Browse catalogue

Document Actions