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Dear Colleagues,
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


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.

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:

From Countries:

  • 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!

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.

Minamata Convention

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.

Stockholm Convention

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.

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 remediation measures.

BAT on Waste treatment

All reference documents under the IPPC Directive and the IED

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 soil functions.

https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/public_path/shared_folder/doc_pub/ JRC_Soil_Highlights_eBook_0.pdf

European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) - Newsletter

ESDAC Newsletter No.113 (August - September 2018) -

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):

  1. A Working Group “for developing feasible and regionally contextualized guidelines for measuring, mapping, monitoring and reporting on soil pollution” (WG 1);
  2. 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

Outcome Document

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 world.

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 2019.

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

More information at http://isqaper-project.eu/

SedNet Newsletter May 2018 available to download


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: www.eugris.info/whatsnew.asp. 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.

ITRC Releases New Guidance on TPH Risk Evaluation at Petroleum-Contaminated Sites

The TPH team at ITRC has developed a new guidance document to assist state regulators and practitioners with evaluating risk and establishing clean-up requirements at petroleum release sites.

Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) Risk Evaluation at Petroleum-Contaminated Sites!

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.


Source: Landrigan, P. J., Fuller, R., Acosta, N. J. R. et al. (2018). The Lancet Commission on pollution and health. The Lancet, 391(10119): 462–512. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32345-0.

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.


See all announcements on COMMON FORUM website

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