Privacy statement | Legal notice | Contact | Search

Soil at JRC > SOER2010 (State of Environment Report 2010)

Download the Thematic Assessement Soil

Section 0. Summary

Section 1. Introduction

Section 2. State and Trends

Section 3. Impacts

Section 4. Outlook 2020

Section 5. Response

Glossary/supporting information

SOER 2010

What is the SOER 2010?

The European environment — state and outlook 2010 (SOER 2010) is aimed primarily at policymakers, in Europe and beyond, involved with framing and implementing policies that could support environmental improvements in Europe. The information also helps European citizens to better understand, care for and improve Europe's environment.

The SOER 2010 'umbrella' includes four key assessments:

  1. a set of 13 Europe-wide thematic assessments of key environmental themes;
  2. an exploratory assessment of global megatrends relevant for the European environment;
  3. a set of 38 country assessments of the environment in individual European countries;
  4. a synthesis — an integrated assessment based on the above assessments and other EEA activities.

Thematic Assessement Soil

The European environment – state and outlook 2010 (SOER) report was launched on the 30th November in Brussels. The 222-page report provides an overview of the state of, trends in and prospects for the environment in Europe. It includes 13 Europe-wide thematic assessments of key environmental themes which aim to help policy makers and citizens better understand, care for and improve Europe’s environment. The thematic assessment on Soil was written by IES scientists in collaboration with the EEA and DG ENV.


Nearly all of the food and fibres used by humans are produced on soil. Soil is also essential for water and ecosystem health. It is second only to the oceans as a global carbon sink, with an important role in the potential slowing of climate change. Soil functions depend on a multitude of soil organisms which makes it an important part of our biodiversity. Nevertheless, soil in many parts of Europe is being over-exploited, degraded and irreversibly lost due to impacts from industrial activities and land use change, leading to soil sealing, contamination, erosion and loss of organic carbon. Due to these problems, legislation for the protection of soils has been proposed at EU level.

Download the Thematic Assessement Soil

Important legal notice
© European Communities, 1995-
Last updated:

European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)