IRENA indicators for Soil
The use of agri-environmental indicators play a crucial role in the development of policies aimed at sustainable and multifunctional agriculture. Commission communications COM(2000) 20 and COM (2001) 144 have identified 35 agri-environmental indicators and have provided conceptual background and initial methodological proposals for their development.
In the operation known as IRENA (Indicator Reporting on the Integration of Environmental Concerns into Agriculture Policy), DG Agriculture, DG Environment, DG Eurostat and DG Joint Research Centre have agreed to pool skills and resources with the European Environment Agency to develop such indicators.
The intended users of the outputs of the IRENA Project are the European Union Institutions, the Agriculture and Environment Ministries, policymakers in the Member States, and stakeholder groups.
Out of the 35 indicators listed in the COM (2001) 144, three deal directly with soil, and fact sheets were prepared during 2004: pesticide soil contamination (indicator 20), soil erosion (indicator 23) and soil quality (indicator 29). Fact sheets for the other 32 indicators can be found at EEA.
A new cooperation between the aforementioned organizations is underway to develop and maintain a system of (improved) agri-environmental indicators for monitoring the integration of environmental concerns into the Common Agricultural Policy, as indicated in the Council conclusions of December 2006.
This page will report on the outcome of this exercise in relation to the soil indicators.