iSQAPER: IEEP's role in exploring policy instruments and opportunities for soil protection

Since 2015, IEEP has taken part in the iSQAPER project that aims to assess soil quality in Europe and China and provide decision-makers with science-based, easy to apply and cost-effective tools to manage soil quality and function.

The goal of this Horizon-funded project has been to provide easy access to information on soil quality combined with recommendations about how agricultural management practices can be used to improve it. The project has brought together multidisciplinary experts on soil data, indicators, monitoring protocols, agricultural management practices, and policy.

Coming to completion in 2020, the project focuses on data combining and creating usable metrics for soil quality measurement based on existing data sets, identifying new opportunities for monitoring and indicator development, and ultimately assessing the opportunities for adopting alternative management practices on agricultural land to promote soil quality.

IEEP has led the workstream on policy analysis, interpreting and disseminating the scientific results of the project for policymakers. Since 2017, we have produced and contributed to several publications as part of iSQAPER, including:

Assessing soil quality in agro-ecosystems for reversing soil degradation and enhancing soil multifunctionality

This briefing by Giulia Bongiorno from Wageningen University & Research explores the role of soil quality indicators in the establishment of management practices that better support multiple ecosystem services.

AuthorGiulia Bongiorno

Protecting Europe’s soils, protecting Europe’s water bodies?

This briefing provides an overview of the links between water and soil policy and looks at how the EU water policy framework could be used to enhance the protection of soils in Europe.

Author: Andrew Farmer

Getting to the roots of sustainable land management

This briefing seeks to inform EU, national and regional policymakers about how the latest Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform could deliver much-needed improvements in environmental and climate action.

Author: Stephen Meredith

Soils, CAP and the future of EU agriculture

This video accompanies the briefing by Stephen Meredith and provides an introduction to soils' role in the environment and how the upcoming Common Agricultural Policy reform could influence soil management in Europe.

Plastic pollution in soil

In line with the “Beat Plastic Pollution” theme of the 2017 World Environment Day, IEEP produced a briefing under the iSQAPER project to shed light on the issue of plastic and microplastic pollution in soils, the sources and implications as well as policies to address the associated challenges.

Author: Susanna Gionfra

Joining the dots: Soil health, agriculture and climate

The first in the series of briefings, this publication looks at the EU's agricultural policy and its role in soil protection – linking soil to land-use related climate goals.

Authors: Catherine Bowyer and Clunie Keenleyside