We all love a New Year quiz…  [PDF version]

What is the largest terrestrial carbon store? 


Here are some clues:

Clue 1: It is responsible for the generation of approximately 95% of global food production. 

Clue 2: It is a basis for life, water filtration and fiber production.

Clue 3: It is a non-renewable resource.

Clue 4: Its interactions with land management, climate change, agriculture and forestry are an important research focus in IEEP for 2017 and beyond.

Answer: Soil 

This often overlooked environmental powerhouse is celebrated annually on World Soil Day, 5 December

Each year this day is marked by calls for changes in the way we manage and value soils and their associated ecosystem services. Despite assurances by the European Commission that they are committed to soil protection, there is no EU policy in place that comprehensively and consistently protects soils and their services. A proposal for a framework Directive was adopted by the Commission in 2006, but withdrawn in 2014 following objections from a minority of Member States.

During 2016, IEEP worked with the European Commission to develop a baseline of national and EU policy that offer opportunities for the protection of Europe’s soil. The initial results were presented at the Commission’s Conference marking World Soils Day 2016  by Catherine Bowyer and Clunie Keenleyside.

In 2017, IEEP will produce a series of briefings, training events, workshops and support working groups focused on resource efficiency, climate change, agriculture and soil protection. To register your interest please contact Catherine Bowyer.