Newsletter n. 35


In May 2014 the European Commission withdrew its Directive proposal for a Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, following an 8-year period of unsuccessful negotiations for its approval. The current European Commission does not intend to act upon this thematic strategy, which therefore confirms EU Member States lack of attention towards soil.     Given the lack of impulse from European citizens and their representatives, the European Commission will not attempt to eliminate obstacles that Member States are squeezing in between all legislation regarding soil, land and landscape. For this reason, the Salviamo Il Paesaggio (‘Save the Landscape’) Forum is appealing for people to sign the Europeans Citizens Initiative (ECI) people4soil (https://people4soil.eu/en).

1.EXPERIENCES:  Organic Certification in Italy




Organic Certification in Italy

The article about the European Organic Certifiers Council (EOCC) from the previous newsletter caught the attention of some of our readers, who have asked for more information on organic certification in Italy. Let us go back to the subject to provide more information for those who seek official recognition of their organic produce from official Italian certifiers.

It is not yet all coded or finalized at both Italian and European level. Certification is determined by the control body, on how often its check-ups take place and on how credible it is. For this reason, many aggregations of associations and new certification consortiums came to our attention. Continua a leggere “Organic Certification in Italy”


March for Europe on 25 March 2017 – Enthusiasm?

We represented the SIP Forum on 25 March in Rome at the march for a more united and more democratic Europe. You may have seen news and updates on the media. Due to some people’s lack of enthusiasm, we had decided to wait while gathering our thoughts before sharing our opinions on paper.

 On a positive note, the march for Europe in Rome took place at the same time as many similar ones in other European cities. We can say that those who were in favour of a more democratic and united Europe were undoubtedly heard. What is more, in Rome there had been three days worth of debates and conferences in which each group was able to express their own opinions on the making of a new Europe.

 Then, why are we not enthusiastic? Continua a leggere “March for Europe on 25 March 2017 – Enthusiasm?”


Earth Day – 22 April 2017

Earth Day was celebrated on 22 April, a day on raising awareness about the environment and the safeguard of the entire planet. Initiatives were held all over the world. In Italy there were various celebrations, including the one entitled ‘Village of the Earth’ from 21 to 25 April.

The People4Soil ECI gathered signatures (https://www.people4soil.eu/en) all over Italy at the various Earth Day celebrations at their designated petition-desks. A Open letter 20 April 17 – People4Soil (1) was also sent to the Commission President and to the EU Commissioners for the Environment and Agriculture, highlighting the difference between the 15th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG: A Land Degradation Neutral World) set by the UN and the one set by the EU. The UN mark 2030 as their target year, for the EU it is 2050. UN goals are compulsory for developed countries, which means the EU must conform and create a matching legal framework valid for all its Member States.


Lobbying in Brussels: transparency?

One of the most common narratives spread by European Institutions is that lobbies in Brussels are officially recognised and registered, all in the name of transparency. But it is only a euphemism to allow civil servants or MePs to meet with large industry or multinational representatives without being accused of carrying out “off the record” negotiations. Moreover, businesses make use of many studies carried out by consultants and lawyers, to “defend” their own interests (which are far from matching European citizens interests!).

The above mentioned are over 10.000 organizations, which are officially registered as EU lobbies. 845 of these are Italian: 171 of these represent civil society groups, 91 are for university research, 50 are regional, local and municipal structures, and the rest are service facilities and SMEs. This means that most of these lobbies belong to large industries, multinationals, industry associations and consultancies. Continua a leggere “Lobbying in Brussels: transparency?”


Airport in Vienna: good news!

In the past months, we have been over flowed by the ongoing debate on the building of the new stadium for the Roma football team. It seems that Italy cannot make do without using up land for merely commercial purposes. Is this the case for other nations? Perhaps not!

We have noticed how spatial development is becoming more and more attentive to soil preservation. One of the best examples is Austria that has prevented the building of the third airport runway in Vienna airport. This order followed a court decision the motivations of which were the negative impact it would have on the climate, and the destruction of agricultural land. On 9 February 2017 the Vienna Federal Administrative Court stated that ‘public interest towards protection against climate change, mainly due to CO² emissions, is greater than positive public interests to be received at the implementation of this project’. According to the experts’ report the judges had requested to consult, a 2% increase in greenhouse gas emissions is expected to take place. Moreover, judges underline the concern with losing usable agricultural area: ‘To preserve rich lands to be used to feed our future generations is a matter of urgency equally upon us’. Indeed the third runway project had been set out for 760 ha of agricultural land. Continua a leggere “Airport in Vienna: good news!”


4 per 1000 Initiative, 2017 activities

2017 is a year of intense structuring for the Initiative.

The Scientific and Technical Committee that was appointed at the Marrakech meeting will gather to prepare the evaluation criteria for the projects, and details on the international programme on research and scientific co-operation.

Also this year, the website will be launched: it will include a collaborative platform and a numerical centre, as required by the roadmap adopted by the Consortium. The latter envisages two meetings over the year.

Finally the next Initiative Forum meeting will take place in Bonn during COP 23 (from 6 to 17 November 2017).


As SIP Forum – seeing the lack of reaction from the Ministers of Agriculture and Environment – we would like to establish contact mechanisms on the 4per1000 Initiative with various associations, such as that of the farmers, of agricultural experts, and of agronomists. This mandate is given to the Soil Europe Group of the SIP Forum.


The 4per1000 initiatives has its own email address: forum.4p1000@adecia.org