With just four weeks left to reach Ireland’s target, The Happy Pear twins are calling on all food lovers to add their signature to the People4Soil petition to save our soil.
Ireland needs 8,250 signatures before 12 September 2017 to pass the European Citizen’s Initiative petition which is pushing for the European Commission to pass a Directive to safeguard soil. 
People4Soil signatures have ballooned in recent weeks with the endorsement of Ireland’s most energetic foodies, Dave and Steve Flynn of The Happy Pear. 
With the help of the twins and other top foodies such as Darina Allen  and Garrett Fitzgerald of Brother Hubbard, the Irish branch of People4Soil now has the second highest percentage sign up rate across Europe.
The Environmental Pillar – a coalition of 26 national environmental organisations – is leading the campaign, and is proud to know that so many Irish people care about the protection of our soil for generations to come.
Soil is a precious non-renewable resource which we depend on for healthy food, clean water, storing carbon, preventing floods, and ultimately supporting all life.
Over the last 50 years, Irish soils have come under increasing pressure from pesticides, afforestation, land use changes, over-farming, erosion, industry and urbanisation. Yet, incredibly, soils are not protected by law.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the absence of an EU Soils Directive, “the challenge remains to ensure a consistent approach to protecting and managing our limited soil resource”. 
A 2015 report from the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative found that land degradation – decreased vegetation cover and increased soil erosion – is costing the world $10.6 trillion, or 17% of global gross GDP. 
A European Citizen’s Initiative petition puts a lot of pressure on the European Commission to respond to the call for new rules to protect the soil. Hundreds of thousands of people across Europe have already signed.
You can find more information about the campaign at https://www.people4soil.eu/en and sign the petition here: https://environmentalpillar.ie/people4soil
In a video appeal, the Happy Pear Twins Dave and Steve Flynn said:
“We have a farm where we grow our own fruit and veg and soil is at the root of everything.”
“So many minerals like calcium and nutrients like vitamin B12 come directly from the soil if we degrade the soil we’re degrading our own nutrition and our own health and happiness really.
“It’s so important, please sign this petition by September 12. Give Europe the capacity to protect soil for all of us. It’s quick snappy and it’ll only take a few seconds of your time.”
Renowned Irish chef Darina Allen said:
“Each and every one of us totally depends on the four or five inches of soil around the globe for our very existence.
“Remember, if we don’t have rich and fertile soil, we won’t have good food and we won’t have clean water. So let’s stop treating soil like dirt.”
 The campaign calls on the European Commission to pass a Soil Directive which would safeguard Irish and European soils. We are doing this using a European Citizen’s Initiative petition – the official way for ordinary Europeans to call on the European Commission to act on the things citizens care about. Ireland needs 8,250 signatures in order for the petition to be passed in Ireland.
Click link to see the Happy Pear’s Dave & Steve Flynn endorsement: https://goo.gl/NJM8QM
Click link to see Darina Allen’s video endorsement: https://youtu.be/fqkTE4MVXeQ
 Click link to see Garrett Fitzgerald of Brother Hubbard endorsement: https://goo.gl/VFt4r6
Environmental Protection Agency, ‘State of the Environment Report’, 2016: https://goo.gl/woqGuD
[6)Economics of Land Degradation Initiative, “The Value of Land,” September 2015: https://goo.gl/IvhTF2
Notes for Editor:
About the Environmental Pillar
The Environmental Pillar is a national social partner, comprising 26 national environmental organisations. It works to promote the protection and enhancement of the environment, together with the creation of a viable economy and a just society, without compromising the viability of the planet on which we live for current and future generations of all species and ecosystems. For more information, please see our website.
People4Soil campaign endorsements
People4Soil endorsements include: Darina Allen, The Happy Pear, Brother Hubbard, Grow it Yourself (GIY), Slow Food Dublin, Eamon Ryan & Catherine Martin of the Green Party, Environmentalist and TV presenter Duncan Stewart, and Chairperson Friends of the Earth, Cara Augustenborg.
Link to Photo endorsements: https://goo.gl/DCxTCp