There is a lack of knowledge about soil conservation practices in agriculture and little
understanding of how farmers can be encouraged through appropriate policy measures to adopt soil conservation practices. The EU funded project “Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation” (SoCo) is aiming to fill this gap. The research was guided by a framework for policy and institutional analysis, using literature and document analyses as well as
a stakeholder survey and expert interviews to investigate soil conservation in eight case studies across Europe. The paper briefly describes the case study areas and presents preliminary findings. The findings highlight i) the need to design policies that target the existing soil threats; ii) the need for good communication and cooperation both between agricultural and environmental authorities as well as between governmental and non-
governmental stakeholders; iii) the necessary mix of mandatory and incentive instruments; and iv) the lack of data to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and soil conservation practices.