Common Agricultural Policy: Tackling soil loss across Europe

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A European Commission analysis indicates that soil erosion continues to outstrip soil formation across the European Union, but that the Common Agricultural Policy is narrowing the gap (P. Panagos et al. Environ. Sci. Policy 54, 438447; 2015).

The amount of soil lost to water erosion in Europe equates to an estimated economic loss of about US$20 billion per year, based on a replacement cost of $20 per tonne. Between 2000 and 2010, intervention measures through the Common Agricultural Policy have reduced the rate of soil loss in the European Union by an average of 9.5% overall, and by 20% for arable lands.

Continued monitoring of human-induced changes to soil every 5–10 years will be crucial for refining soil policies (D. A. Robinson Science 347, 140; 2015).

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  1. European Commission Joint Research Centre — IES, Ispra, Italy.

    • Panos Panagos &
    • Pasquale Borrelli
  2. NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Bangor, UK.

    • David A. Robinson

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