Mission Soil & SDGs

Why are soils important?

Soils are essential for all life-sustaining processes on our planet. If soils are healthy and managed sustainably, they provide essential environmental, economic, and social benefits for society.

© European Union, 2023. Image - Malshkoff /Shutterstock.com
© European Union, 2023. Image - V. Smirnov Miotto/Shutterstock.com

What is the Mission Soil?

The EU Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ (Mission Soil) is one of five Missions funded under the EU Research and Innovation (R&I) Programme Horizon Europe. Its goal is to create 100 Living Labs and Lighthouses by 2030 to promote sustainable land and soil management in urban and rural areas.

 

Living Labs and Lighthouses

Learn how Living Labs and Lighthouses can help to experiment and showcase good practices for sustainable land management. Work with researchers and land managers to find real-life solutions to societal challenges.

© European Union, 2023. Image - Yuri A Miotto/Shutterstock.com

soil health and SDGs

  • SDG 2 Improving the quality of land and soil to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”.
  • SDG 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” by preventing dangerous chemicals, air and water pollution from contaminating land and soil. Additionally, reducing soil degradation can help to increase food production.
  • SDG 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” by preserving soil quality because of the role it plays in helping to provide clean water for drinking and agriculture.
  • SDG 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,” by ensuring land and soils are protected as they safeguard our cultural and natural heritage.
  • SDG 12 “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns,” through making sure chemicals and waste does not make its way into the air, water and soil, which can have adverse impacts on our health and environment. That is why it is important to sustainably manage and efficiently use soil resources.
  • SDG 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Soil can play a positive role in reducing the impacts of climate change, by sequestering CO2, sustainably managing the resource and restoring degraded soils.
  • SDG 15 “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.

Soils are globally under threat and problems and challenges related to the limitation and mismanagement of soil resources including soil degradation and others. Global policy frameworks like UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), address land and soil but there is not a specific goal dedicated to soil. The seven goals impact soil directly or indirectly and those goals cannot be achieved without healthy soils.

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