European soil networks

Find out more about some of the European soil networks in which Rijkswaterstaat is involved.

Bodemoverleg Lage Landen (Soil Consultation Low Countries)

Bodemoverleg Lage Landen (BOLL) is an informal consultation platform with participants from Flanders and the Netherlands. The main objective is to exchange knowledge and experience on developments and current events in soil policy. Coordination on relevant issues of common interest is also part of this consultation.

The consultation platform consists of a steering group that meets twice a year and consists of people from the Public Waste Agency in the region of Flanders (OVAM) (BE), the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (NL) and Rijkswaterstaat (NL).

Common Forum

Common Forum is a network of policymakers and technical advisors on soil pollution from different European member states. The network has existed since 1994. Meetings take place both physically and online.

The network focuses on the following core activities:

  • exchanging knowledge and experience
  • initiating and continuing international projects, and
  • discussing policy, research, technology and management of contaminated sites.

Contributions from the Netherlands include:

  • initiator of the Soil as a Resource working group
  • active participant in online and physical meetings: co-determining of agenda, organisation, content and participation in meetings and discussions.

European Environment Information and Observation Network

European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) is a partner network of the European Environment Agency (EEA). It brings together 38 European countries. On behalf of the EEA, the network collects independent information on the state of the environment in Europe. Eionet decides which data to collect. National authorities (National Reference Centres) collect the data at national level.

Each year, the EEA produces the State and Outlook report, which is based on the data collected and describes the current state of our environment and the threats it faces. This report is made available to the European Commission, member states and the general public.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) collects data on the state of the Dutch soil. Rijkswaterstaat makes its data available to RIVM.

European Network on Soil Awareness

European Network on Soil Awareness (ENSA) is a European network of soil scientists and other soil professionals. ENSA was established in 2008 as a result of discussions at the Eurosoil 2008 conference of the European Soil Partnership.

The discussions highlighted the need for soil awareness as soil degradation in Europe is a common and pervasive problem. This awareness network complements the existing national and international approach to soil issues. It is in line with Pillar 2 of the FAO Global Soil Partnership Action Programme (Raising Soil Awareness). 

The network shares knowledge and experience through meetings and publications.

European Soil Partnership

The European Soil Partnership (ESP) is a subsidiary network of the Global Soil Partnership. The ESP was launched during the second Global Soil Week (2013). The ESP is the common European FAO framework for all soil-related networks and activities. The partnership is open to institutions and stakeholders who wish to actively contribute to sustainable soil management in Europe. 

Regional needs and priorities are translated into regional actions through the ESP Implementation Plan.

Network for Industrially Co-ordinated Sustainable Land Management in Europe

Network for Industrially Co-ordinated Sustainable Land Management in Europe (NICOLE) is a European network focusing on land management at industrial sites. The network was established in 1996 to stimulate innovation and development of sustainable technologies for soil management and remediation in industrial areas.

To this end, the network brings together academics, soil consultants and experts, and industry representatives. Rijkswaterstaat cooperates with this network through the Joint Forum on Contaminated Land.

Soil Expert Group

The Soil Export Group (SEG) is a network of mandated soil policymakers from EU member states. The network was established in 2014 by the European Commission in response to the withdrawal of the draft Soil Framework Directive. Participants in the Soil Expert Group are mandated by the member states themselves.

The SEG examines whether there should still be a legally binding European framework for soil. One of the activities of this SEG is to contribute to the European Commission's Impact Assessment for a European Soil Policy.

Soil and Land Research Funding Platform for Europe

Soil and Land Research Funding Platform for Europe (SOILveR) is a funding platform for integrated soil and land research and knowledge exchange in Europe. SOILveR supports integrated soil and land research that contributes to solving problems from knowledge agendas that focus on practical and feasible solutions for end users.

The members of the platform have a common interest in sharing and carrying out integrated multidisciplinary research. Platform partners are public or private institutions and organisations that fund research or knowledge dissemination.