European Dimension: …. A resounding silence greets the Scientists’ 2nd Warning to Humanity

The second warning from scientists and academics on the state of the planet received scant media attention. This is despite the fact that 15,000 of them from 184 different countries signed up to the “Second Warning” to alert humanity to the risks that face it. At least in Italy we have some excuse, given our preoccupation with the failure to qualify for the World Cup and the tortuous path to elections and the formation of a new government …

This is the second such Warning. The first, in  1992, was signed by a “mere” 1700 scientists. But even back then the world was being warned about the degradation of natural resources. The new warning is even more chilling. It lists the problems to be tackled in a way that is both concise and dramatic: Continua a leggere “European Dimension: …. A resounding silence greets the Scientists’ 2nd Warning to Humanity”


Report on the implementation of the 7th action plan for the environment

As we have seen in previous articles, the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission (DG Env) works on the basis of multi-annual programmes that are approved by the EU. The current Action plan for the environment, which is the 7th, (2014-2020), sets out the objectives that the EU and its Member States must achieve by 2020.

The report containing the assessment of the Action plan by ENVI (the European Parliament’s Commission for the environment, public health and food safety) makes interesting reading. Based on a number of reports produced by the European institutions (DG Env, Court of Auditors, European Environment Agency, etc.), the report sets out the situation for each of the plan’s objectives and gives recommendations for the better implementation of future Action plans. Officially approved at the end of February, with just one vote against and 3 abstentions, the ENVI report includes a proposal for a resolution in the European Parliament. Continua a leggere “Report on the implementation of the 7th action plan for the environment”

The students of the Uccle European School (Brussels)

Parents send their children to school so they can learn. Teachers generally want their students to understand and absorb what is shown to them. The greatest satisfaction, however, comes when students surprise us with their fresh ideas.

On 5 December 2017, the SIP Forum organized an event with the title “Soil is life!” at the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels with the aim of raising awareness of the soil’s importance for all human beings. Teachers at the European School of Brussels arranged for some of their students to attend the event, in order to stimulate their interest in this complex subject. Their involvement led immediately to increased understanding that extended well beyond the evening itself. Continua a leggere “The students of the Uccle European School (Brussels)”


The time is ripe to revive circular economy in the EU.  In a matter of weeks we have seen a specific European Parliament resolution being prepared[1], as well as the long-awaited approval of the EU strategy on plastics[2], and a communication on the options to address the interface between chemical, product, and waste legislations[3]. All of these points are covered in the report from the Commission on the implementation of the circular economy action plan[4] published in January 2017. Among the conferences and debates that surround this report, it is worth mentioning the European circular economy stakeholder platform conference that took place in Brussels on 20 and 21 February[5], as well as the third international circular change conference – unfolding circular economy roadmaps – in Slovenia next 10 and 11 May[6].

Does it serve a purpose? Continua a leggere “NEWS ON SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: Circular Economy”

Implementation of the directive on environmental liability

Policies pursued by the European Union over recent years have led to an increasing disenchantment amongst citizens. They have also led to a growing distrust, to the resurgence of nationalism and archaic tendencies that everyone thought were long buried. It even gave up on promoting and highlighting environmental policies envied by many countries worldwide. Indeed, Europe is one of the few places in the world that still happens to defend the value of nature and the environment.

We would like to draw your attention to the European Parliament resolution of 26 October 2017 on the application of the Directive on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (also called the “ELD” or “Directive on environmental liability”). Continua a leggere “Implementation of the directive on environmental liability”

Third Online Assembly of the Soil Europe Group (SEG) – 10 and 11 February

On 10 and 11 February, the third online assembly of the SIP Forum’s working group Soil Europe took place. This is merely a virtual meeting, as it takes place via email exchange. We asked participants to confirm their attendance by merely checking their computer or tablets and react to the issues raised.

We believe we have acquired expertise in the area, given that the previous two assemblies took place in the same format.

The working programme called for in last year’s assembly had a multi-annual nature. Aside from reviewing results of the defined actions, this year’s Assembly reviewed and updated the programme for the year 2018. The final document of the Assembly is being finalized and will be available in the next Newsletter.

For more information about the outcomes of the 2018 SEG Assembly, please contact

European social dialogue for sustainable construction

Last year, the Soil Europe Group on behalf of the SIP Forum was developing contacts and urging institutions to organize meetings and dialogues with institutional and social actors who deal with soil. Some of the counterparties underlined that the debate was already taking place and that representatives of civil society and those from construction companies had already published some guidelines.

Our counterparties were referring to the Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Strategy entitled “Strategy for sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises” (COM/2012/0433 of 31/7/2012). They also meant the “BROAD – Building a Green Social Dialogue”, a research project financed by the Commission. Continua a leggere “European social dialogue for sustainable construction”

The first Agroecology Europe Forum

In 2014, the FAO in Rome hosted the first International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition . In the wake of the symposium, several follow-up meetings were organised, also at the FAO’s initiative, on several continents. In Europe, the meeting was held in Lyon (France) on 25-27 October 2017, within the prestigious Isara University. Over 300 guests, representing farmers, technicians, researchers, students, national and international public institutions, civil society and NGOs attended this first Agroecology Europe Forum.

As a reminder, agroecology is understood as the implementation of ecological principles to agriculture, whether to produce food or other products, all of which is based on the management of agrosystems. This word encapsulates an agricultural concept whereby the scientific and social components of the ecosystem are taken into account. In other words, it is about creating a sustainable way of farming, able to feed the growing world population without jeopardising the environment and its natural resources. Naturally, it must also bring about economic viability to the farmers. The fundamental binding factor here is the soil. Continua a leggere “The first Agroecology Europe Forum”