First European Soil Forum
Aiming to create a common basis for the development of soil protection policies and to facilitate the exchange of experiences between the representatives of European Member States and other European Countries the First European Soil Forum took place from 24 until 26 November 1999 in Berlin.
The international workshop "Soil Protection Policies within the European Union" that took place on 9 - 11 November 1998 in Bonn demands the establishment of an European working group to improve the communication and co-ordination in respect to future soil protection policies and new technical soil protection directives as well as among the various scientific projects. To provide a venue for such activities the European Soil Forum (ESF) is established. It addresses the integration of soil protection considerations into other policy fields as well as technical aspects. On 24-26 November 1999 in Berlin, the First European Soil Forum took place on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the European Commission.
The objective of the First European Soil Forum is to create a common basis for the development of soil protection policies and to facilitate the exchange of experiences between the representatives of European Member States and other European Countries. Particular emphasis is given on the intensified integration of soil protection into other policy areas, for instance agriculture or industry, as well as into other scientific and technical areas. Furthermore the emphasis is placed on precautionary soil protection. In the future one of the most important tasks for the European Soil Forum will be the provision of further information exchanges between the Member States of the European Union, Accession Countries and the European Commission as well as the development of common strategies for the implementation of sustainable soil protection. Among other topics the European Soil Forum addresses the issue of threshold values dealing with tolerable concentrations of pollutants in soil regarding health concerns. With the help of a questionnaire the current study determines both the meaning of "threshold" and their actual levels in the individual Member States and contributes to the generation of a background paper on threshold values. The thresholds of the heavy metals cadmium, nickel, lead as well as benzo(a)pyrene as representative of the polycyclical aromatic hydrocarbons are analysed. Furthermore criteria and principals for risk judgement and generic soil thresholds are developed with the intention of creating a comprehensive soil protection policy.
The study can be downloaded here [pdf, 41 KB, English].