Without vital soil we cannot achieve the climate and biodiversity targets

The health of Dutch soil is under severe pressure. The soil life is in poor condition due to intensive land use and the addition of harmful substances. However, a rich soil life is essential for many soil functions, such as retaining and purifying water, carbon storage, natural pest management and recycling nutrients. Without vital soil we cannot achieve the climate and biodiversity targets.

Did you know that over a quarter of the earth’s biodiversity lives in the soil?

Microorganisms, springtails, earthworms, moles: they all live in the soil. Many insects also spend part of their life underground. A tablespoon of earth can contain thousands of species.

What were the objectives of Onder het Maaiveld?

The programme focused on three priorities:

  • Raising awareness of the wealth and importance of vital soil;
  • Affording vital soil social and economic value;
  • Boosting and exchanging knowledge about effective measures to restore and protect soil life.

Our Partners

The programme Onder het Maaiveld (2020-2023) was a cooperation between IUCN NL, The Dutch Butterfly Conservation, the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Together with other organisations we worked on a structural change in soil management, which should enable the rehabilitation of our soils. Jointly, we wanted to ensure that soil biodiversity and soil health become a priority in organising and managing the landscape.

Our team

Fanny Verkuijlen
Fanny Verkuijlen
no longer working at IUCN NL
Caspar Verwer
Senior Expert Nature Conservation
Maxime Eiselin
Senior Expert Nature-based Solutions
Elske Swets
Communications Manager
Phone: 020-3018251