Soil Health

Healthy soils are vital. For our food production, for water retention, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, underground and above-ground biodiversity. Unfortunately, the quality and health of our soils is deteriorating rapidly. Time for a change: the European Commission has presented a new Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience, to legally protect the soil. In this dossier, Wageningen experts will show you the importance of soil and what is needed to manage our soils sustainably.

Feedback to the European Commission

Soil health and why it needs Europe-wide protection

Seventeen soil experts of Wageningen University & Research have collaboratively written a policy discussion note on the importance of soil health and a European Soil Monitoring and Resilience Directive.

Read more about the proposed Directive

How does WUR work on soil health?

Meet the experts

Rachel Creamer

Soil health policy should be clear about the challenges and objectives and needs to recognise the vital role of farmers and other land managers in management of soil health.
Rachel Creamer, Chair of Soil Biology

Edwin Alblas

It is high time policymakers provided firm legal protection for healthy soils, which are fundamental to life and essential for the protection of people and the environment.
Edwin Alblas, assistant professor Environmental Law

Liesje Mommer

The majority of soils across Europe are in poor condition as a result of unsustainable human activities. This has serious consequences for the health of people, the environment we live in, and the ecosystems of our planet.
Liesje Mommer, professor Belowground Ecology and head of the Wageningen Biodiversity Initiative

Jeanne Nel

Science-based frameworks and engagement processes already exist to allow local actors to develop context-sensitive strategies for managing and monitoring soil health.
Jeanne Nel, Programme leader Biodiverse Environment

Esmer Jongedijk

It is clear that soil health and human health are connected through several interconnected pathways: soil, water, vegetable and animal foods, and air. To protect this system, a "one-health" approach is essential.
Esmer Jongedijk, researcher soil contaminants

Janjo de Haan

A lot of societal issues are being imposed on farmers via policy regulations, without providing financial compensation and future perspectives. Soil health policy should therefore be made through a joint search together with farmers.
Janjo de Haan, project leader and researcher Soil Water Fertilisation