Achieving sustainable development objectives: soil plays an important role

Published: 5 December 2018

Deltares is to work with Wageningen Environmental Research and Milieu (Belgium) on an analysis of land- and soil-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on behalf of the DG Environment of the European Commission. These SDGs were set by the United Nations in 2015 and adopted by the EU. They are a series of seventeen goals drafted with the aim of improving the preservation of our raw materials and fighting inequality, poverty and hunger.

DG Environment of the EU has decided to work with Deltares on analysing progress with the implementation of land- and soil-related SDGs. In addition, Member States are being encouraged to share their examples and successes.

In order to achieve the objectives, a robust groundwater system is essential, and this has been recognised by the EU. Land and soil systems are important for many SDGs. However, SDG 15 – ‘Protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable management of forests, combating desertification and stopping or reversing degradation and loss of biodiversity’ – is particularly important in this context.

Implementation of this important goal requires clarifying which land and soil use and management practices have added value and which have negative impacts. If the EU wishes to take steps towards the achievement of this SDG in 2030, action is needed now.

Completion of the analysis from Wageningen Environmental Research, Deltares and Milieu is planned for 2020.