COMMON FORUM SUPPORTS IMPLEMENTING INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS
NEWS FROM EUROPEAN COMMISSION
NEWS FROM GSP & ESP
DOCUMENTS OF INTEREST
The COMMON FORUM fall meeting 2018, held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from October 3 – 5, 2018 was a great success due to interesting presentations, discussions and the effort of our hosts of the Agència de Residus de Catalunya, Núria, Eduard and Joan with a perfect organisation and generous invitations! The final day at the new Barcelona harbour gave impressing insights into this huge enlargement project over the last years.
As a special surprise Agència de Residus de Catalunya presented a proposal for a new COMMON FORUM logo. The brand new design raised immediate positive reactions at the meeting as well as unanimous positive feedback following up! Accordingly in our function as secretariat we work towards making our new “branding” effective by beginning of 2019.
The venue of our next COMMON FORUM spring meeting is set! It will be held in Luxembourg in May 2019.
Wishing you some wonderful autumn days!
Martha and Dietmar
NEXT CF MEETING IN LUXEMBOURG
Our next COMMON FORUM Network meeting
will be held in Luxembourg hosted by Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures 8 - 10 May 2019
The venue and a call for contributions will be announced by the 1st draft agenda in January 2019.
CF MEETING IN BARCELONA, ES
COMMON FORUM Network meeting
took place in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
hosted by the Agència de Residus de Catalunya from 3rd – 5th of October 2018
One of the key topics of the meeting was the management
of excavated soil – policies & legislation, strategies &
practices and case studies. A site visit to the harbour
regarding the enlargement of the port of Barcelona
and its environmental management concluded the successful meeting.
Thanks to our hosts from the Agència de Residus de Catalunya, especially Núria Boget, Eduard
Márquez and Joan Bartoll for the perfect organisation and generous invitations, the COMMON
FORUM members, guests and the colleagues from Catalonia for their participation!
The presentations (COMMON FORUM, meetings) and the meeting report are available:
Recent changes / new members of representations within the COMMON FORUM:
Belgium / Flanders – October 2018:
- Kris Van Looy (OVAM)
Sweden – October 2018:
- Åsa Valley (Naturvårdsverket)
Romania – September 2018:
- Octavian Coltoi, Gabriela Istrate
and Dana Marina Ministry of Environment Romania)
replacing Alina Criclevit and Mihaela Frasineanu
A warm welcome to all our new members!
COMMON FORUM SUPPORTS IMPLEMENTING INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS
At the Oslo-meeting (October, 2016) COMMON FORUM decided to follow and support
preparatory work in implementing International Conventions by “mirror groups”. In 2017 the
formal processes for establishing Contaminated Land Management Guidance documents with
regard to the “Minamata Convention” and the “Stockholm Convention” have been started.
Following up discussions at the springtime meeting in Namur the CF-mirror-group “Minamata
Convention” finalised its comments regarding the 1st “draft guidance on the management of
mercury contaminated sites” (draft guidance 2803a) and informed the interim Secretariat of the
Minamata Convention. Meanwhile a revised 2nd draft of the guidance document is available (6
languages; English, French, Russian, Spanish):
As regards the CF-mirror-group comments the revised document takes account of most of the
easily to include comments. Nevertheless the key concern stays to be, whether transposing the
guidance into national policies will enable local authorities in particular in developing countries to
manage the problem of mercury contaminated sites.
By October 2018 IPEN, an environmental NGO, launched a Brief on Mercury Contaminated Sites
to inform Minamata COP2 (see below). Summarising key issues IPEN demands that
waste threshold definitions should be harmonsied with the contaminated sites definition,
meaning that any waste contaminated above 1 ppm should be deemed mercury waste.
The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
(COP2) will take place from 19 to 23 November 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. The revised draft
guidance and further procedures (in particular the time frame to develop the guidance) will be
matter of discussion.
CF-mirror-group-“Stockholm Convention” started its work by commenting the structure and
outline for the proposed POPs Contaminated Sites Guidance document in February 2018. During
summer a draft on chapter 1 (Introduction: providing for an summary and overview of any
subsequent chapter) of the envisaged guidance was circulated. Again CF provided comments
and feedback in August 2018. Furthermore the draft on chapter 1 and further procedures were a
matter of debate during an expert meeting in Bratislava (8-10 October 2018). For following and
supporting the work to come it is intended that members of the CF-mirror-group share dedicate to
specific chapters (e.g. chapters 3, 5, 6 and 7; “inventories”, “site characterization”, “risk
assessment” and “management and remediation principles and approaches”) of the guidance.
NEWS FROM EUROPEAN COMMISSION
BAT conclusions on Waste treatment [Industrial Emissions Directive (IED, 2010/75/EU)]
Within the framework of Article 13(1) of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED, 2010/75/EU) the
European Commission has adopted and published the BATC on Waste treatment:
BATC or “BAT conclusions” means a document containing the parts of a BAT reference
document laying down the conclusions on best available techniques, their description, information
to assess their applicability, the emission levels associated with the best available techniques,
associated monitoring, associated consumption levels and, where appropriate, relevant site
Progress in the management contaminated sites in Europe
This report presents the findings of a questionnaire commissioned by the
European Commission Joint Research Centre for the revision of the Indicator
"Progress in the management of contaminated sites in Europe" in 2016. It has
been produced with the contribution of data provided by the EIONET National
Reference Centres (NRCs) for soil and contributes to the indicator system of the
EEA, notably to the indicator LS003 on contaminated sites.
Soil: how much do we value this critical resource? (eBook by JRC)
Soil condition underpins food security, green growth, bioeconomies and
aboveground biodiversity; it regulates climate, the hydrological and nutrient
cycles, while mitigating climate change. Soils provide resilience against floods
and droughts, buffer the effects of pollutants and preserve cultural heritage.
Healthy, functional soils underpin several targets of the Sustainable Development
Goals. Pressures on this finite, non-renewable resource, due to
competition for land or inappropriate land management choices, severely impact
Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18) – Follow-up
Preventing and reducing harmful substances in soils as a way to maintain healthy soils and food
safety is crucial for targeting UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015 (SGD; 17 goals
to transform our world).
The Global Symposium on Soil Pollution held in Rome (GSOP18; 2-4 May 2018) was the first
step towards providing scientific evidence to support actions and decisions to prevent and reduce
soil pollution for increased food safety, food security and nutrition, ecosystem services, and
promote the restoration of polluted sites,
Following the mandate from the Third session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly
(UNEA-3 2017) and based on the recommendations developed at GSOP18 in Rome, the
GSOP18 Organizing Committee embedded at FAO and led by the Global Soil Partnership (GSP),
established two Working Groups (WG):
A Working Group “for developing feasible and regionally contextualized guidelines for
measuring, mapping, monitoring and reporting on soil pollution” (WG 1);
A Working Group “to create a database on the best available techniques for the
management and remediation of polluted soils according to land use and edaphoclimatic
conditions, that can be adapted locally to assess and monitor soil pollution
and to support management decisions” (WG 2).
The establishment of the WGs represents a response to the urgent need to identify, compile and
highlight strategies that promote and prevent soil pollution taking into account diverse contexts
and scales and given differing local and national capacities among countries. The contributions
should be adapted to regional and sub-regional specificities, site characteristics, land user needs
and consider cost-benefit analyses and social impacts. The main aim is to collect material based
on solid scientific evidences that will constitute the base for the compilation of two FAO technical
manuals on Soil Pollution, at the end of the process.
Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18) – Key Documents
The Outcome Document of the Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18) held in Rome, 2-4
May 2018 has been published and is available online for download here.
The proceedings of the Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18) present
the abstracts of all scientific presentations held during the Symposium. 100 oral
and 50 poster presentations built the core of this event triggering fruitful
discussions on the state-of-science of soil pollution in different soils of the
The proceedings are available online for download here.
European Soil Partnership (ESP) – next Plenary Meeting
The 2019 European Soil Partnership Plenary Meeting is scheduled for 28-29 March 2019 and will
take place at the facilities of the FAO headquarter in Rome. Details will follow in the beginning of
NEWS FROM NICOLE
NICOLE Spring Workshop 2019
The NICOLE spring workshop on Smart Land Management Solutions
(case studies) will be held from 12 – 14 June 2019 in Lyon, France.
The idea is to have a workshop that goes beyond the theoretical, pilot and demonstration level
and instead is able to bring cases where a smart solution led to a significantly better outcome
than a more traditional approach would have done.
iSQAPER Interactive Soil Quality Assessment
iSQAPER research project aims to provide: interactive soil
quality assessment in Europe and China for agricultural
productivity and environmental resilience providing decision
makers with science-based, easy to apply and cost-effective
tools to manage soil quality and function.
The most important aims the iSqaper project will work on are to:
Integrate existing soil quality related information
Synthesize the evidence for agricultural management effects provided by long-term field trials
Derive and identify innovative soil quality indicators that can be integrated into an easy-touse interactive soil quality assessment tool
Develop, with input from a variety of stakeholders, a multilingual Soil Quality Application (SQAPP) for in-field soil quality assessment and monitoring
Test, refine, and roll out SQAPP across Europe and China as a new standard for holistic assessment of agricultural soil quality
Use a trans-disciplinary, multi-actor approach to validate and support SQAPP
New documents on EUGRIS, the platform for European contaminated soil and water information.
Resources, events projects and news items added on EUGRIS can be viewed at:
Then select the appropriate month and year for the updates in which you are interested.
However, here is a selection of new additions to EUGRIS in 2018 prepared by Paul Bardos
(r3 Environmental Technology Ltd) for COMMON FORUM members.
The Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) is a US public-private coalition working to reduce barriers to the use of innovative air, water, waste, and remediation environmental technologies and processes.
Opportunities for soil sustainability in Europe
EASAC (the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council), launched on 26 September 2018
A multidisciplinary group of European experts has examined the implications of recent scientific research for integrated policy solutions towards ensuring the sustainability of Europe’s soils, and identified many opportunities for policy-makers to safeguard this valuable resource for the benefit of the EU’s citizens.
How to control and mitigate the effects of pollution on public health: Six Lancet Commission recommendations
Pollution is the world’s largest environmental cause of disease and premature death. The Lancet Commission on pollution and health brought together leaders, researchers and practitioners from the fields of pollution management, environmental health and sustainable development to elucidate the full health and economic costs of air, water, chemical and soil pollution worldwide. By analysing existing and emerging data, the Commission reveals that pollution makes a significant and underreported contribution to the global burden of disease, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The Commission also provides six recommendations to policymakers and other stakeholders looking for efficient, cost-effective and actionable approaches to pollution mitigation and prevention.
Reclamation of forest ecosystems in postmining sites in the Czech Republic and its comparison with unassisted ecosystem development
Frouz, J.; Bio-Geotechnologies for Mine Site Rehabilitation, Elsevier Inc. ISBN: 978-0-12-812986-9, Chapter 19:335-346(2018)
A case study is presented of ecosystem development in the Sokolov postmining district (Czech Republic) in which a variety of reclamation approaches were compared with spontaneous (natural) succession of the postmining sites. In suitable substrates the succession was driven mainly by site topography. In sites that were leveled, grassy vegetation developed. In sites where original wavelike topography was preserved, the ecosystem developed toward forest. In forest sites the development on most ecosystem parameters in succession sites was a little slower in comparison with those of reclaimed plantations during the first 15-20 years; however, the differences disappeared in older sites.
The COMMON FORUM on Contaminated Land, initiated in 1994, is a network of contaminated land policy makers and advisors from national ministries in European Union memberstates and European Free Trade Association countries.