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Take action to reduce flooding

Posted by Oisín Coghlan on September 07, 2017 at 03:55 PM

People4Soil petition

We were all shocked and dismayed by the terrible flooding which devastated parts of Donegal and Derry recently which has left families and businesses in ruins. - and the awful thing is it's likely to happen again. [1] The farming community in east Donegal was also badly impacted, with acre upon acre of potato and grain crops washed away and destroyed through the sheer surge of the flood waters. It's hard to know what to do when catastrophic events like this happen. But we can work together to help lessen the impact of flooding like this.

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Protecting healthy soils reduces flooding.


People4Soil petition


Our own research, carried out by ecologist and broadcaster, Anja Murray, confirms that healthy soil is key to preventing floods, and reducing their severity when they do happen [2]. When soil is porous and healthy, it soaks up flood water. When it's ruined and compacted, water floods over it. [3] Healthy soil is nature's flood barrier, but right now there's no way to make sure our soil is protected.The good news is that we have a big opportunity to change this. If we can get enough people to sign this official petition calling on the EU Commission to make new laws protecting soil - before the deadline on 12 September - together we'll have taken a big step towards reducing the risk of disasters like this in the future. 

Will you add your name?

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Yes, I want our soils protected.


Poorly planned developments that concrete over floodplains, and heavy machinery used in intensive farming, compact soil so that it can't absorb floodwater. [4] This leaves us all vulnerable to having our homes and the topsoil we need to grow food washed away. So we have teamed up organizations across Europe to win protection for our soil, once and for all. If we can get enough people to sign a special petition to the European Commission - called a European Citizens Initiative - they'll have to address the public call. [5] It's a little more complicated than usual, because it is an official EU petition. If we collect the required signatures across Europe, the European Commission will be required to propose legislative action to protect our soils. This puts citizens on the same footing as the European Parliament and the European Council, all the more reason why it's so important that people, who really care, to add their name.

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Yes, The EU should have standards for soil in the same way as for water quality and nature protection.


Our soil also helps prevent even further damage to our climate. Soil is what's called a 'carbon sink' - it absorbs dirty carbon emissions before they get into our atmosphere and do serious damage to our environment, our health, and our future. [6] So protecting our soil is key to stopping more climate catastrophes in the future.We can't throw away this opportunity to protect our homes and farmlands from floods. We need 3,000 more signatures by next Tuesday.

Will you be one?

Thanks in advance,

Oisin Coghlaniends of the Earth

P.S. We need every last signature we can get. Please forward this email with anyone you can think of who would support healthy soils and reduced flood risk. And SHARE this Facebook Post and retweet this Tweet to spread the word. Thank you.




[1] Climate Risk Management: Past and future climate change in the context of memorable seasonal extremes (2016)

[2] Friends of the Earth Ireland: Natural Flood Management: Adopting ecosystem approaches to managing flood risk

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] The European Commission: European Citizen's Initiatives - the basic facts[6] The Irish Times: Soil is too small a word for it

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