RamSoil: Risk Assessment

RAMSOIL: Risk Assessment Methodologies for SOIL threats

Objective

The general objective of the RAMSOIL project is to provide scientific guidelines on possibilities for EU wide parameter harmonization based on detailed information on current risk assessment methodologies of soil threats encountered within EU Member States. In RAMSOIL current risk assessments methodologies used in the EU are collected and evaluated by thematic coordinators and thematic partners.

Why?

Numerous methodologies are used in the EU Member States to assess the risk for different soil threats related to various agricultural practices to occur (compaction, erosion, landslides, organic matter decline and salinization). These methodologies are based on different approaches, are fed with different parameters and sometimes different values are used for the same parameter. In the project RAMSOIL current risk assessment methodologies are reviewed, differences are assessed and scientific support is provided in exploring which parameters can and should be harmonised. For the parameters which should not or can not be harmonised, scientific evaluations will be provided.

Risk assessments?

In any risk assessment, a differentiation between the hazard and the likelihood of a hazard occurring (risk) has to be made. The assessment of risk requires a multi-step approach, starting from the identification and description of the hazard, towards a so-called exposure assessment and risk characterization.

Advantages of harmonization

Harmonisation of risk assessments methodologies can have various advantages:

  • Uniform risk assessment methodologies pave the way for uniform assessment and integration of soil threats in EU Member States, while possible trade-offs of risks may be prevented.
  • Identification of possible ‘new’ areas at risk; by implementing uniform methodologies to all Member States, possible soil threats not yet encountered in some Member States can be identified.
  • Measures to prevent soil degradation and to restore degraded soils can be evaluated similarly and hence harmonisation allows for comparison and up-scaling of results.

Final Project Report

This report which presents the results of the RAMSOIL project is published. The general objective of the RAMSOIL project was to provide scientific guidelines on possibilities for EU wide parameter harmonization based on detailed information on current risk assessment methodologies of soil threats encountered within EU Member States. In RAMSOIL current risk assessments methodologies used in the EU are collected and evaluated. The results are summarized in this book. Currently, there are various risk assessment methodologies (RAMs) and the question has risen to what extent these RAMs yield similar outcome and, if not, whether the outcome can be harmonized, i.e. whether the results of the various RAMs can be made compatible or comparable. In this study i) the current status of RAMs for erosion, soil organic matter decline, compaction, and salinization in the European Union (EU27) is reviewed, and ii) the need and the options for harmonization are assessed. The need for harmonization was defined as the likelihood of achieving different outcomes when using different RAMs, whereas the options for harmonization refer to the efforts that are required to harmonize soil RAMs.
Download the Report: Risk Assessment Methodologies of Soil Threats in Europe

Database

The goal of the RAMSOIL project is to assess the options for harmonization of different risk assessment methodologies that are in use (or in development) to characterize degradation processes in member states of the European Union. In order to be able to identify the harmonization options, a survey of available methodologies have been undertaken. The survey is done through questionnaires by member states and by degradation types (erosion, compaction, salinization, decline of organic matter, landslides).

The RAMSOIL database is stored in Excel. Each worksheet is one threat. In the first worksheet the structure of the database is explained. The database is protected and can not be changed. For questions please contact the database manager Gerben Bakker (gerben.bakker@wur.nl). 
 Download the RAMSOIL database

Further info: www.ramsoil.eu

 

Contact Points

Gergely Toth,
Tel: +39 0332 785689, Fax: +39-0332-786394, E-Mail: Gergely.Toth(at)jrc.ec.europa.eu

 

 

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