Our recommendations to improve the EU Soil Monitoring and Resilience Directive

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In this policy paper, Wetlands International Europe assesses the proposed legislation, focusing on the potential impacts on wetlands, including peatlands’ organic soils, and supporting investments in nature-based solutions to improve soil health in the EU.

With the proposal for a Soil Monitoring Law published on 5 July 2023, the European Commission has aimed at delivering a Soil Health Law, which was foreseen under its 2030 EU Soil Strategy, and whose main objective is to achieve healthy soils by 2050. The proposed Soil Monitoring and Resilience Directive (the Soil Monitoring Law, SML) is a step forward to improve soil health within the European Union. However, it falls short of concrete measures to enable the legislation to achieve its intended goals. The 2030 EU Soil Strategy aimed for organic soils to help meet the climate neutrality objective and to contribute to climate adaptation. But the Soil Monitoring Law proposal regrettably gives limited attention to wetlands and peatlands, if any at all, which is concerning given the significant contribution of peatlands to climate change mitigation.

Wetlands International Europe supports an ambitious Soil Monitoring Law, and advocates for:

  • Increasing the legislation’s ambition and give it the means to achieve the EU 2050 healthy soil objective and other overarching Green Deal policy objectives;
  • Recognising the pivotal role of nature-based solutions, such as healthy peatlands and soil sponges functions, for achieving soil health and fostering climate change mitigation; the legislation should also support sustainable management practices based on nature solutions and address unsustainable practices on wetlands and peatlands soils;
  • Improve the monitoring of organic soils by including specific soil descriptors for organic soils in (wet) peatlands;
  • Securing adequate financing of the legislation thanks to public and private funds.