Germany’s soil protection policy is considered unique because of its Federal Soil Protection Act (BBodSchG); the Act is one of the reasons for the rejection of a Soil Framework Directive at the EU level. A recent article from the BonaRes Centre analyses German agricultural soil policy using the comprehensive Governance Disruptions Framework (GDF). The GDF considers four dimensions: target adequacy, object adequacy, instrument adequacy and behavioural adequacy. The study shows that German agricultural soil policy exhibits deficits in all four dimensions. In particular, it is selective with respect to targets (e.g. addressed soil functions) and shows low internal as well as external coherence (to other policy fields, e.g. consumer policy). The effectiveness of the few policy instruments that directly and explicitly address soil is questionable. The scientific evidence base is also weak. Current policy processes at the EU level (European Green Deal, Farm to Fork strategy, Common Agricultural Policy reform) seem to promise only selective improvements. There remains a need for more ambition and coherence in agricultural soil policy.
Original article: https://soil.copernicus.org/articles/7/495/2021/