2019 got off to a flying start as regards the question of the soil. The previous Newsletter carried details of the Round Table “We must ally with our soils!”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 23 January (a definitive account in English is available on our website). This was a first step that showed dialogue between different actors is possible. Other steps must of course follow to reach a common understanding of the urgent need to protect the soil.
As regards the proposed law in Italy on halting soil consumption, on the afternoon of 5 February the Senate’s Environment and Agriculture committees heard evidence from two experts, D.sa Giacometti and Arch. Picciafuoco. The video is available here and it makes interesting viewing, especially as regards the points of view and comments of the various senators. The main concerns raised were to do with the limitation of the private right to build. The two experts stressed that property rights are linked to authorizations from the public authorities, essentially through the planning process. It is this that can and must halt the use of soil which in Italy has become an urgent and crucial matter. The claim that soil occupation in Italy is “only” 8 % compared with a European average of 12 % was clarified: calculations of the Italian figure left out a lot of areas that can’t be used, such as the tops of hills and mountains, rivers and coasts, and the figure therefore must be multiplied by 3 at least, leading to a real figure of 24%. This explains why Italy is no longer able to guarantee food security to its population through its own farming.
The proposed law has therefore started on its journey. We will continue to follow it closely.