Joining forces in the battle against soil degradation
This project, ‘Building on(to) a healthy soil’, aims to improve the quality of the existing and repurposed soil and protect, repair or even improve the eco-system services, biodiversity, water resources, fertility and contributions to nutrient cycles.
By drawing up clear guidelines and integrating them into existing certification systems, and by showcasing the work of stakeholders who are already doing their bit, we aim to showcase a positive story to make the entire sector aware of the soil degradation issue, and encourage them to adopt a different approach. The ultimate aim is to raise awareness in the construction and earth-moving sectors at large to inform them and to acquire and disseminate shared knowledge. The idea is to create a circular economy where valuable raw materials - primary and reused - are used and maintained as efficiently as possible.
In fact, the recent extension of the earth-moving regulations highlights the importance of sustainable reuse of soil materials. However, for the time being, the focus is only on the potential of soil materials as an alternative for primary raw materials based on the structural properties of the soil. Insufficient attention is currently paid to the importance and protection of eco-system services, such as biodiversity, water resources, soil fertility etc. Soil formation and repair is a slow process. To qualitatively meet societal changes, such as spatial densification, we need to focus more on the repair or even the improvement of soil eco-system services as part of construction and infrastructural projects.