News

European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity Released

23 September 2010: The European Commission's research body, the Joint Research Centre, has published for the first time an indicator-based map of potential threats to soil biodiversity in Europe, highlighting its role in agriculture and in the water and carbon cycles.

The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity provides a comprehensive source of information for researchers, policy makers and teachers, and a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity. It selects and ranks potential threats to soil biodiversity, including land use change, habitat disruption, intensive human exploitation, invasive species, soil compaction, erosion and pollution. The map provides an evaluation of the potential risk of soil biodiversity decline with respect to the current situation, showing that the risk of decline in soil biodiversity due to human-induced pressures tends to be highest in areas of high population density and/or intense agricultural activity.

The 128-page atlas is the result of collaboration between the European Commission, partners from academia and industry, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Atlas was launched at the conference “Soil, Climate Change and Biodiversity – Where do we stand?” held in Brussels, Belgium, from 23-24 September 2010. [EU Press Release] [The Atlas] [Soil Conference Website]