The researchers believe that:
- It is positive that the Directive pays attention to soil. It is a finite resource that we need to protect and that is often overlooked.
- The Directive can enable greater coordination of existing and future environmental monitoring programs for soil. This would facilitate data comparison and could lead to a more sustainable management of soil in Sweden and Europe. A common starting point for soil health can benefit soil management.
- Swedish environmental soil monitoring programs have long time series of great value that need to be maintained. This can be done by coordinating existing and future monitoring programs.
- Several soil health indicators need to be corrected in order to be viable. These include the organic carbon content of (Swedish) clay soils. It is also unclear whether and how, for example, natural background levels of chemical elements affect the indicators. If adjustments are not made, there is a risk that soils with good status will be classified as unhealthy.
- Soil health indicators should generally be on a scale, rather than a fixed value. A more flexible measure than the Directive's proposed "one out, all out" for indicators is needed to work for different types of soils.
- Data management must comply with current legislation. Soil data should be stored nationally and the location of sample points should not be linked to individual landowners.