Soil matters for our future | European Commission

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Soil is the very basis for the food we grow as well as for the production of feed, textiles, wood and other materials. It provides us with clean water, hosts biodiversity, recycles nutrients, regulates climate and is part of our landscapes and cultural heritage. Soil is important for our well-being and the balance of ecosystems in our planet.

This natural resource is fragile and finite, and needs to be carefully managed and protected. In the EU we lose every year through water erosion alone the equivalent of a one metre-depth soil on an area corresponding to the size of the city of Berlin. An increasing population, which requires more land for food production, urbanisation and industries, is putting our soil under additional pressure.

It can take up to 1,000 years to produce 1cm of fertile soil but only a couple of years to lose it. We need to act to preserve and restore our soils.



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