Recent new national soil protection legislative proposals, like in Italy, are raising hopes that on the long term a coherent EU approach to soil protection may be achievable.

The Global Soil Partnership

In 2011, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with the support of the European Commission, initiated a new global partnership for soil protection and sustainable management of soils. The main driver of this initiative was the need to go beyond the current stalemate in legally binding international agreements for achieving soil protection and build upon an open voluntary partnership a new “coalition of the willing” of governments, NGOs and stakeholders genuinely committed to soil protection and sustainable soil use. Opposition by a few countries and interest groups to sustainable soil management and soil protection should not be an obstacle to the vast majority of countries and institutions that are genuinely determined to make progress and assure for future generations the availability of the necessary vital soil resources for food security and for all the other essential ecosystem services that soils provide for all of us.

The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) was officially launched at the FAO in Rome, Italy, on the 7th–9th of September 2011 and includes all member countries of FAO and all NGOs and stakeholders interested in the issue.