Soil conservation

Soil protection includes measures that are taken to protect the soil from the aspect of nature and environmental protection.

  • 5.1 Natural History Certificates
  • 5.2 Cultural and Historical Documents

Legal situation in Germany

Soil protection has received in Germany in 1999 in the Federal Soil Protection Act ( Federal Soil Protection Act ) and the Federal Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Ordinance ( BBodSchV ) a consistent basis. It is enhanced by soil protection laws of the countries, with primary legislation such as the law on the promotion of circular economy and ensure environmentally sound disposal of waste, the Act on the regulation of water balance and the Federal Nature Conservation Act. Another priority is the fertilizer and plant protection law, the federal pollution control laws or the construction planning and building regulations. The European Commission in 2006 presented a draft Soil Framework Directive, which would provide the Member States, inter alia, the identification of risk areas.

The scope of the BBodSchV mainly concerns the procedure for the investigation and assessment of contaminated surfaces, contaminated surfaces and possible remedial measures. It also regulates the security through decontamination and security measures, preventive measures, and test and measurement activities.

The stresses and disturbances of soil relate to chemical contaminants (eg, pesticides, heavy metals ), physical changes (eg, soil compaction, soil erosion ) and soil consumption by superstructure (eg road construction, housing development) or removal.

Protection areas within the meaning of soil protection are:

  • Soil protection areas
  • Floor planning areas
  • Floor loading areas
  • Ground hazard areas

Agriculture and Forestry

The Agriculture and Forestry has interest in the soil, because it is dependent except in hydroponics, for example, when tomatoes growing on the ground to store nutrients and water supplier. Depending on the type of soil the sensible land use is different. While agriculture makes high demands on the soil, the soil quality in forestry and grassland management of lesser importance.

Organic farming and conventional farming operate agriculture with different cultivation methods, use of fertilizers and pesticides. Chosen by the farmer combination determines the quality of the soil (humus ) significantly because of the variety and richness of soil organisms ( Edaphon ) is affected. On the symbiosis of, eg, fungi and plants ( mycorrhiza ) benefited the agriculture and forestry them again.

Ground as a high- tech location

Soils were placed in the last decades with an enormous technology and energy involved in producing ever larger amounts of biomass. The loading capacities were partially exceeded significantly. What is known a few: Not only the space requirements and the demands on the quality of the soil are highest in agricultural land use. But also the loss of substance (eg erosion) and the loss of quality (eg by compaction, humus decomposition ) of soils in relation to other forms of land use at the highest ( Lingner / Borg 2000).

The soils in Germany are showing increasing compaction damage and are prone to erosion. In 1994, the Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) in its " Annual Report to the threat to soils " on the symptoms of soil degradation, such as floods, soil erosion, soil compaction, reducing groundwater and surface water quality, reduce soil fertility and consequently decrease the plant health and growth of mineral fertilizers - and pesticide expenses, down. The International Soil Conservation Organization ( International Society for Soil Conservation, ISCO) reiterated the warnings at its annual meeting in Bonn in 1996 and at their next annual meeting. These bodies require repeated a rethinking of agriculture.

The now ongoing boom in the field of bioenergy exacerbated the problem yet, because in addition to competition for land for sustainable food production, the unilateral increase in the cultivation of energy crops such as corn, canola and wheat also worsened the precarious humus balance and the health of the soil solid.

Steps towards soil protection

16 percent of the soils in the old EU countries are threatened. In the new EU countries, like the Czech Republic, Hungary or Poland, there are even 35 percent. At European level, the soil protection was first awarded in 2001 by the 6th EU Environment Action Programme of central importance. The European Commission has then taken the first steps towards a European strategy for soil protection in attack. After several delays, this was presented on 22 September 2006 in Brussels. You want the drafting of a framework directive which proposal was also presented follow.


In forestry, the floor on the choice of planted tree species is affected. The coniferous forest, deciduous forest and mixed forest is never just a tree farm, but always a plant community (eg, oak -hornbeam forests) and more specifically an ecosystem, making the habitat floor is included. In forestry, soil conservation has become by the mechanical harvesting to a social policy issue. The left with a load up to 16 ton Forwarders, especially in damp weather, deep tracks in the forest floor. To address this problem, different concepts, from the tires to structural changes being discussed currently.

Hazardous substances, contaminated sites

The floor can be damaged both by its use (eg by the introduction of pesticides in agriculture ) as well as by unwanted substance leaks or seepage targeted. In an accident, for example, fuel may leak out and seep into the ground. Depending on the amount and occurred in the ground substance, a soil replacement be necessary to prevent, for example, a groundwater hazard.

Organic farming tries to work around on the waiving of synthetic pesticides these problems in the agricultural sector. The instead used alternative methods for pest control, such as the use of beneficial or thermal processes (eg: vapors ( soil disinfection ) for soil sterilization ) to exclude negative effects on environment and health.

In many industrially used areas it has come over time to be intentional or unintentional infiltration of substances, the so-called legacy. Depending on the load ( concentration and / or mass ) and the risk of environmental assets extensive soil remediation measures may be necessary.


Also, the mining industry has to deal with the protection of soil, so far as it goes around the open pit and around the tailings dumps on. In many cases only contaminated sites and abandoned must be determined, because it may be many centuries old.

As mining, especially in mining, a lot of space needed is in the Federal Mining Act ( Mining Law ) stipulates that after the reduction must be a restoration. This includes not only the most complete possible filling of opencast mining hole, but also the application of the previously eroded soil and the controlled normalization of the groundwater table. In many cases rocks are transported to the surface, which decompose to oxygen and release large acid, sulfate and iron levels. This allows the soil for decades extremely stale and even after centuries, this is still detectable.

Ground as an archive

The importance of soil as a historical document landscape is also an important reason for the protection and preservation of certain soil types / soil relics. In them the possible effects of land use by humans can be recognized and reconstructed on the ground development through comparative studies. We distinguish:

Natural History Certificates

Geological and pedological features such as geological outcrops, herausgewitterte volcanic cone, Moore and sites of fossils and fossils.

Cultural and Historical Documents

Certificates of specific forms of management such as water meadows, ancient vineyards and junipers. For the preservation of particular interest areas with settlement remains and archaeological monuments such as limes remnants, old cemeteries, ravines or former settlements.

Situation in Switzerland

In Switzerland advance regulate Article 32c ( exposure from landfills and other waste) and Article 33 ( maintenance of soil fertility ) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA ) and associated Regulations soil protection.