Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Cover of the report

JRC Reference report cover: The State of Soil in Europe - A contribution of the JRC to the European Environment Agency's Environment State and Outlook Report© EU 2012

Soil degradation accelerates in Europe


A new report published by the JRC and the European Environment Agency shows that the main soil degradation processes are accelerating in many parts of Europe, often as a result of human activities.

The report presents an overview on the state of soil in Europe using data from the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) and from research activities within the JRC. It shows that soil resources in many parts of Europe are being overexploited, degraded and irreversibly lost. These trends are accelerated by inappropriate land management practices, industrial activities and land use changes. Bringing together data which are often fragmented and incomplete, ESDAC – a focal point for pan European data and information on soil – allows trends such as soil sealing, contamination, erosion and loss of organic carbon to be captured.

The core of the report was prepared for the Assessment on Soil, which forms part of the ‘The European Environment - state and outlook 2010 Report’ (SOER) 20102. Coordinated by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the SOER series is aimed primarily at policymakers in Europe and beyond who are 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.