Project Background

Recognising the extent of soil degradation and the associated environmental and social risks, the European Commission has proposed a Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection. Human activities, such as inappropriate agricultural and forestry practices, tourism, urban and industrial sprawl and construction are identified as the main threats in the strategy. Moreover, soil is vulnerable to natural processes and challenged by climate change impacts such as drought and floods.  Local authorities lack the necessary know-how and expertise to understand the magnitude of the problem and fulfil the requirements of forthcoming EU legislation in this area. The fact that soil degradation is a slow process and affects large areas makes it even more difficult for Member States to identify areas at risk. However, a system based on historical data and using cutting-edge technology such as GIS and remote sensing could help local authorities to better understand the extent of the problem. Co-operation between local authorities and research institutes in a transnational context could also promote the development of spatial methodologies for monitoring and management of soil degradation.


monitoring, soil degradation, environmental assessment, risk management

LIFE08 ENV/IT/000428 - Centro Nazionale di Cartografia Pedologica - P.zza D'Azeglio 30 - 50139 Firenze - ITALY - Credits