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Almost there: 24 hours to save our soils!

Posted by Oisín Coghlan on September 11, 2017 at 02:07 AM

Darina soil2

Since I sent the email below on Thursday, about 1000 people in Ireland have signed the official petition to trigger EU action to protect our soils.

We need about 1000 more to fulfil the Irish quota of the European Citizens' Initiative. And we have until midnight on Tuesday (Brussels time!) to get them.

If you've signed already, thank you. Please do tweet this and share this on Facebook to spread the word.

If you haven't signed yet, your support could tip the balance .

As chef Darina Allen puts it in this video :

"Every one of us depends on the four or five inches of soil around the globe for our existence. If we don't have rich fertile soil, we won't have good food and we won't have clean water. So let's stop treating soil like dirt"


This chance won't come again. EU rules have been key to protecting air and water quality, let's give soil the same protection .


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On 7 September 2017 at 18:14, Oisin - Friends of the Earth < > wrote:

We were all shocked and dismayed by the terrible flooding which devastated parts of Donegal and Derry recently which has l eft 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 .


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.

People4Soil petition

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 Coghlan
Friends 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.

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[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

Permanent link | Categories: climatechangewaterbiodiversityfoodandfarmingsoil

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