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Dear Colleagues,

Just in time for the COMMON FORUM 25th anniversary celebration the new logo is online! Thanks to the special gift of our Catalonian hosts of the last meeting in October 2018 COMMON FORUM is catching up to improve its recognition as well by a modern remarkable branding.

Safe the date for the next COMMON FORUM Spring meeting in Luxembourg from May 8-10, 2019 where you have the opportunity to discuss background values, European soil policy, effectiveness in soil protection and meet some of the founders of COMMON FORUM 25 years ago.

A couple of important events have taken and will take place with contributions of COMMON FORUM members:

  • NRC Soil meeting (12-14 February 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Conference on Brownfield Redevelopment in the EU (5 April 2019, Brussels, Belgium)
  • AquaConSoil 2019 (20-24 May 2019, Antwerp, Belgium)

A lot of important discussions on topics of concern! So enjoy the days getting longer.

Kind regards
Martha and Dietmar


Our next
COMMON FORUM Network meeting 8 - 10 May 2019
will be held in Lëtzebuerg, Luxembourg at MECDD Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, 4, Place de l'Europe L-1499 Luxembourg hosted by Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures

The themes are as follows:

  • Background concentrations/values
  • How to strengthen European soil policy
  • Effectiveness in soil protection – how to measure success
  • Soil as a Resource – 5th meeting (i.a. LANDMARK 2020)

And the call for contributions is open!

COMMON FORUM acknowledges and thanks

for hosting the springtime-meeting 2019

Draft Agenda

Meeting report is finally available

COMMON FORUM Network meeting
in Namur, Belgium/Flanders
hosted by SPW and SPAQUE which took place from
23rd – 25th of May 2018

Meeting report

Recent changes / new members of representations within the COMMON FORUM:

From EC:

  • JRC-Ispra – January 2018:
    - Arwyn Jones to temporary replace Ana Payá-Perez
    Joint Research Centre Ispra, Land Resources Unit


Ready for COMMON FORUM 25th anniversary the new logo is online! The logo was a special gift from our hosts of the last COMMON FORUM autumn meeting in Barcelona 2018, the Agència de Residus de Catalunya!

The logo can be downloaded in the members section on the website at the bottom.

Soil as a Resource

The Working Group ‘Soil as a Resource’ is online with a separate folder on the COMMON FORUM website including all meeting documents, minutes and reports!

Follow the link

2019 Land for Life Award: Decades of Impact

The Land for Life Award was launched at the UNCCD COP10 in the Republic of Korea as part of the Changwon Initiative. This Award recognizes the excellence and innovation of individuals, groups, institutions and businesses whose work and initiatives have made a significant contribution towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: “Life on Land”, in particular Target 15.3 land degradation neutrality (LDN).

As the UN Convention to Combat Desertification celebrates its 25th year, the 2019 Land for Life Award will be dedicated to “Decades of Impact”. Efforts will be recognized that are contributing to land degradation neutrality on a large-scale, with long-term changes and dedicated actions for 25 years or longer and remarkable positive impacts on land, people, communities and society as a whole.

Large-scale land restoration: The speed at which countries are implementing the SDG 15 target of land degradation neutrality puts it within reach. We want to showcase land restoration on a large scale – policy measures, for example or specific sustainable land management methods.

Remarkable positive impacts: Restoring land has positive effects on food and nutrition security, water, soil, biodiversity, people’s lives and thus a number of other SDGs. We are looking for initiatives whose approaches to land restoration show specific positive impact on further SDGs.

Transferable approaches: The Convention moves forward to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030. We are looking to award approaches that drive this change.

The deadline for nominations is 30 March 2019. Award recipients will be announced on World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June 2019 in Turkey.


Brownfield redevelopment in the EU

Cities are becoming increasingly attractive and dense but their growth at the same time puts pressure on forests, and the agricultural and (semi)natural land that surrounds them. The redevelopment of brownfields rather than expansion into productive agricultural land and green fields helps to reduce sealing and to remediate contamination.

The objective of the conference held on April 5, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium hosted by the European Committee of the Regions, is to promote brownfield redevelopment as a sustainable strategy to limit urban sprawl, land take and soil sealing and to protect the environment and human health. Inspiring policies and good practices will be presented by European, regional and local stakeholders, and the potential offered by EU funds will be explored.


European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) - Newsletter

ESDAC Newsletter No.116 (February – March 2019) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.115 (December 2018 – January 2019) -

6th Plenary Meeting of the European Soil Partnership (ESP)

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. The topics among others involve:

  • ESP contribution to soil protection in Europe (European projects, ESP at EUROSOIL2020)
  • Priorities for soil protection in Europe (Agenda 2030 and Land Degradation Neutrality indicators, Soil contamination)

ESP partners are invited to attend the side event on the 29th March, 2019, afternoon: "Soils4EU Workshop - Impacts of and implementation barriers for arable soil protection and sustainable management across the EU".



14th meeting of the International Committee on Contaminated Land 2019

The 14th ICCL meeting will be held in Lima, Perú, 23-25 October 2019 hosted by the Peruvian Ministry of Environment in its capacity as Presidency to ReLASC.

The proposed topics of the 14th meeting are as follows:

  • Mercury contaminated sites management and the application of Minamata convention
  • Main aspects of/ How to make the risk assessment and conceptual model on contaminated sites
  • Stockholm Convention & Managing POP contamination
  • Remediation of contaminated sites by heavy metals
  • Economic aspects of the management of contaminated sites: management tools, costbenefit analysis, innovative strategies for financing


Call for contributions to be launched soon.

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. The workshop will be organized in two consecutive sessions to review and debate around specific themes of interest described as follows:

  • Providing current views of practices for liability management
  • Adding value to land



POlluted SIte DecontaminatiON – PCP is a pre-commercial procurement project, started in February 2018 in the field of brownfield rehabilitation and gathers 5 European procurers facing similar problems in the sites they manage, affected by similar pollutants with the aim of leveraging public demand to identify fit-for-purpose and cost-effective innovative and sustainable solutions to soil decontamination -> a new technology for treatment of specific pollution (mixed pollution). It focus on thedecontamination of heterogeneous anthropic soils in brownfield, composed by a mixture of industrial waste and soils consisting on clays and sands, highly polluted by Petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs and PAHs), and heavy metals.

On 02/01/2019 the Contract Notice of the Call for tender of POSIDON PCP project has been published in the European Tenders Electronic Daily (Document number 743-2019). The aim of this procurement is to trigger new solutions, preferred as in-situ (and potentially on-site), to be capable of decontaminating both organic and inorganic contaminants in heterogeneous anthropic soils in brownfield, composed by a mixture of industrial wastes (like filling soils, construction & demolition wastes, slags and ashes polluted by petroleum hydrocarbons and lead) and soils consisting of clays and sands, mainly polluted by heavy fractions of petroleum hydrocarbons, PAHs and lead.

You are invited to access the CALL FOR TENDER page of the POSIDON website to consult in the section DOCUMENTS all the Tender documentations. Deadline for submission of tenders for the framework agreement and phase 1 is April 1, 2019.

More information at https://www.posidonproject.eu/

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.

Urban sprawl initiative Switzerland – Swiss dismiss freeze on construction zones

There is a lot of building going on in Switzerland - at the expense of nature and the countryside. Strict rules are needed to combat urban sprawl. These were adopted by the People in 2013 in a vote on the Spatial Planning Act: building zones may now only comprise as much land as is needed within the next 15 years. Building zones that are too large must be reduced in size. The cantons are currently implementing these requirements, thus ensuring better protection for nature and the landscape.

In 2016 the Young Greens submitted the popular initiative "Stop urban sprawl - for sustainable urban development (urban sprawl initiative)". This initiative aims to freeze the entire area of building zones in Switzerland: a new building zone should only be approved if an area elsewhere of at least the same size is declassified as a building zone. The initiative also aims to stipulate in the Constitution which buildings and facilities may still be built outside building zones. It also calls for better use of areas that have already been built on. The Confederation, cantons and communes should also promote sustainable forms of living and working.

The Swiss electorate voted on "urban sprawl initiative" on 10th of February 2019. Voters in Switzerland have thrown out that proposal aimed at curbing urban sprawl. The initiative from the youth chapter of the Green Party failed to attract broad support. Final results show 63.7% of voters and all 26 cantons rejecting the proposed freeze on construction zones across the country.



Reviewing the relevance of dioxin and PCB sources for food from animal origin and the need for their inventory, control and management

Environmental Sciences Europe (2018) 30:42
Weber R., C. Herold, H. Hollert, J. Kamphues, M. Blepp and K. Ballschmiter

In the past, cases of PCDD/F and PCB contamination exceeding limits in food from animal origin (eggs, meat or milk) were mainly caused by industrially produced feed. But in the last decade, exceedances of EU limit values were discovered more frequently for PCDD/Fs or dioxin-like(dl)- PCBs from free range chicken, sheep, and beef, often in the absence of any known contamination source. The German Environment Agency initiated a project to elucidate the entry of PCBs and PCDD/Fs in food related to environmental contamination. Food products from farm animals sensitive to dioxin/PCB exposure can exceed EU maximum levels at soil concentrations that have previously been considered as safe. Maximum permitted levels can already be exceeded in beef/veal when soil is contaminated around 5 ng PCB-TEQ/kg dry matter (dm). This review compiles sources for PCDD/Fs and PCBs relevant to environmental contamination in respect to food safety.

Conclusions: The major sources of PCDD/F and dl-PCB contamination of food of animal origin in Germany are (1) soils contaminated from past PCB and PCDD/F releases; (2) PCBs emitted from buildings and constructions; (3) PCBs present at farms. Impacted areas need to be assessed with respect to potential contamination of food-producing animals. Control and reduction measures are recommended for emission sources and new listed and emerging POPs to ensure food safety.


The cost of inaction – A socioeconomic analysis of environmental and health impacts linked to exposure to PFAS

Nordic Council of Ministers – G. Goldenman, M. Fernandes, M. Holland, T. Tugran, A. Nordin, C. Schoumacher, A. McNeill

A study published recently estimates the socioeconomic costs that may result from impacts on human health and the environment from the use of PFAS. Better awareness of the costs and problems associated with PFAS exposure will assist decision-makers and the general public to make more efficient and timely risk management decisions.

Findings indicate that the costs are substantial, with annual health-related costs estimated to 2.8 – 4.6 billion EUR for the Nordic countries and 52 – 84 billion EUR for all EEA countries. Overall non-health costs are estimated at 46 million – 11 billion EUR for the Nordic countries.

Nordic Council: Exposure to PFAS – the costs of inaction

See all announcements on COMMON FORUM website

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