EEA activities

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The EEA produces regular assessments on soil resources in Europe, which describe the status of soil, and importantly the causes and impacts of any deterioration at a continental level. The assessments, underpinned by robust data from various sources, provide in-depth analysis of soil deterioration: erosion, sealing, contamination and desertification, and have contributed to developing reliable knowledge in areas were policy action is needed.

The EEA produces indicator-based analyses on management of contaminated sites in Europe which are underpinned by information regularly collected from EEA member countries. Even in the absence of specific data the EEA aims to provide robust innovative information e.g. the recently produced indicator on land take, giving an overview of the extent of soil sealing in Europe and high resolution spatial data on soil sealing from remote sensing sources (IMAGE2006 data).

Desertification and drought are particular problems in the Mediterranean (link to map) and the rationale for the EEA's published assessment of "sensitive" areas produced in the framework of the DISMED project (project description).

The EEA is establishing country-based analyses, with the aim of filling data gaps on soil, and will offer an overview of the status of soil resources at a national level. Co-operation is essential for wide ranging and robust soil information, as a consequence the EEA works closely with its member countries, the European Commission and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Other partners include: the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and expert networks e.g. the European Common Forum on Contaminated Land and the European Soil Bureau.

The EEA's technical work is supported by the European Topic Centre (ETC) on Soil (1996-1999), the ETC on Terrestrial environment (2001-2006), the ETC on Land use and spatial information (2007-2014) and the ETC on Urban, Land and Soil systems, (since 2014 ETC/ULS). In 2007 data activities were transferred to the European Soil Data Centre at the JRC (ESDAC).

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100