25 September 2020

The new documentary ‘Kiss the ground’ premiered on Netflix and attracted global attention on how healthy soils can help restore our climate, biodiversity and food system. It brings together a range of scientists, celebrities, academics and farmers to highlight how working on soil health over the next 20 years will impact human generations to come.

The UK’s Agriculture Bill completed its report stage on Tuesday. The Lords amendments which passed include limits to pesticides usage, food imports to meet domestic standards, and agriculture to contribute to climate change targets. The Bill will have a third reading on 1st October.

SSA’s director responded to an article claiming that England’s environmental protection grants are being diluted. The response highlights why investing in soil health makes both good business and environmental sense. Soil has the unique ability to deliver each of the five Public Goods identified in the Agricultural Bill.

This week experts handed over their proposals to the EU Commission for a greener, healthier and more resilient Europe during the European Research and Innovation Days. The EU Horizon Mission for Soil Health and Food presented their mission entitled ‘Caring for Soil is Caring for Life’ which sets the goal of ensuring 75% of European soils are healthy by 2030.

By using satellite images to track the Arctic tundra, a new study discovered that the Earth’s coldest landscapes are changing rapidly. The images show how the tundra is greening, a biome-scale response to rising air temperatures which has impacts on vegetation, wildlife and local food systems.

Whilst UK Ministers are being accused of blocking plans to ban the burning of UK peatland, new research reveals the internal tipping point to shift peatlands towards recovery. The researchers demonstrate how applying the tipping point theory can help understand some important aspects of peatland behaviour.

The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative has united with other organisations for the upcoming UN Summit on Biodiversity to support the European Commission’s Global Coalition for Biodiversity. In light of the limited progress made on biodiversity goals, the Coalition calls on museums, parks, and research institutions to join forces in raising an alarm about the nature crisis.

UK farming Minister has announced the outdoor ban of the pesticide Metaldehyde from the end of March 2020, in an attempt to protect biodiversity and wildlife. The pesticide has been identified as causing harm to birds and mammals by the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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