On World Soil Day 430 organizations call on Europe to give a right to land and save land. INSTA is part of the network of entities that support it.

Imagine a medium-sized continental nation, such as Hungary, Portugal or the Czech Republic. Now imagine the whole surface of this nation covered in concrete and asphalt. This same area is the amount of agricultural land occupied by human settlements and infrastructure in the last fifty years, in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU). In addition, land is being consumed at an alarming rate despite the crisis affecting the construction sector in many countries. Every year, 1,000 km2 of previously cultivated areas are sealed with new constructions. At the same time, the European commodity market covers its growing needs for crops and animal feed imported from third countries, where intensive agriculture is spreading its pressure on millions of small farmers, forcing them to leave their fields to emigrate to in suburban areas. It is a blatant contradiction for a continental EU that emerged with the aim of ensuring food security for all citizens and is now trying to manage the relevant flows of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, where many fields are cultivated for in European companies.

The land used for urbanization is just the tip of the iceberg, as soil in Europe faces many threats and damage: more than 250,000 sites have chemically contaminated soil, almost half of agricultural soils are threatened by the depletion of organic matter, there are serious problems of soil loss by salinization, millions of hectares are being eroded by rain and wind. desertification is advancing in many Mediterranean countries, making their crops increasingly sensitive to droughts and pests as a result of climate change.

“Europe has a duty to preserve its most important natural resource: soil” This is the call of the promoters of the European citizens’ initiative to (ICE) ‘People4soil’, to save the soils, an official request to the European Commission, to develop a specific legal framework, set the principles and rules that must comply with each Member State, to curb the threats to the role of soil as a generator of food and life. Today there is no legal recognition of the ecological, social and economic services that healthy soils can provide to Europeans, nor the legal duties for the parties to reach a common goal, the same with regard to the rehabilitation of contaminated soils, or the safeguarding of soil carbon sinks or the prevention of soil sealing by settlements and infrastructure. This is precisely what the People4Soil network wants to change. The first 25,000 signatures have already been collected on the official website of the petition ( www.people4soil.eu ). All adult European citizens can sign. The organizers stress: “We have two very challenging goals: to gather a million signatures in September 2017 and to gain full recognition of the land as a common heritage to be protected, for the welfare of Europeans.”

They support the Initiative in Spain:

Accionatura, Galician Association of Land Stewardship (AGCT), SIMA SL, Agrae Solutions, Ambientea, ARDEA – Ecologists in Action Sierra de Ayllón, Galician Association of Land Stewardship, Association for Biodynamic Agriculture of Spain (AABDE), Agriculture Association Regenerativa, Asociación Alimentum, Afammer Sevilla, Asociación Nueva Cultura por el Clima, Associació Salut i Agroecología (ASiA), Asociación Vallisoletana de Agricultura de Conservación (AVAC), Asociación Reforesta, Asociación Vida Sana, Centro de Estudios en Bioderecho, Ética y Salud ( CEBES), Besarte, Biosuelos SCA, Center d’Estudis dels Rius Mediterranis (CERM), Center Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC), Ecoherencia SCA, EL GRAN CAPITAL, Ecologists in Action, Evenor Tech SLU, Fundación Caza Sostenible, Fundación Global Nature , Fundaciò Emys, International Foundation for the Restoration of Ecosystems, Savia Foundation for Commitment and Values, Fundación Entretantos, Iniciativa Comunales, INST A –Environmental Legal Services, Indehesa, L’Espigall, L’Era – Agroecological Resources Area, Oriental Seeds, Carbosol Network, Sustainability Observatory, PROAMBIA, Prysma Calidad y Medio Ambiente SEO / Bird Life, Sociedad Galega de Pastos e Forraxes , Spanish Society of Ecological Agriculture / Agroecology (SEAE), Spanish Society of Soil Science (SECS), Society for Ecological Restoration Europe, Terra Franca, University of Burgos (UBU), University of Extremadura (UEX), Vertex Agroforestry, World Nature , WWF Spain, Land Stewardship Network (XCT)

Official headquarters in Italy: People4Soil c / o Legambiente Onlus via A. Bono Cairoli 22, IT-20127 Milan. Tel: +39 0287386480 mobile +39 3929516320. info@people4soil.eu . www.people4soil.eu . Spain: SEAE Cami del Port, s / n, Km 1, Edifici ECA (Portón 1), E-46470 Catarroja (Valencia). seae@agroecologia.net . www.agroecologia.net . Fax: +34961267122. Mobile +34627343399