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Sustainable Land Use- Introduction

Monday 10 September 2012

The Sustainable Land Use Network was created in 2007 and was first entitled "polluted soils and remediation network" , as the thematics were highlighted in a proposal for a Directive establishing a framework for the protection of soil and amending Directive 2004/35/EC. Since then, UIC has tried to tackle these issues with the Sustainable Land Use network.

The UIC Sustainable Land Use Network first proposed to describe the state of the art concerning the soil pollution on railway properties and its remediation in Europe. The main objective of the research is to contribute to the harmonization of the approach towards polluted railway properties within the European Union.

The main conclusions were the following :

  • Soil pollution on railroad land in European countries is a significant topic.
  • European legislation will certainly lead to the introduction or the adjustment of national laws in the field of soil management.
  • Within the Member States of the European Union big differences occur:
    -in status quo of the legislation in the field of soil pollution,
    -in the progress of soil remediation,
    -in working methods.

Not only is the network in charge of polluted soils remediation but also controls vegetation and wildlife. For instance, Adif and Renfe common Annual Forest Fire Prevention Plans has led to nearly 60% reduction years in the number of fires occurring alongside railway lines that could be attributed to the rail system, from 7% in 2006 to less than 3% in 2010.

Our members also aim at protecting animals such as eagles in the United States, amphibians in Czech Republic... As railways’ infrastructure is part of the landscapes , we have to manage vegetation and wildlife and we have chosen to do it in the most sustainable way.

For more information on Sustainable Land Use, please visit UIC website.

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