5 December: World Soil Day
The World Soil Day was observed across the world on 5 December 2017 with the theme ‘Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground’.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the soil holds three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and can help us meet the challenges of a changing climate.
• The soil is the upper layer of earth, a mixture of organic and inorganic matter, which aids the growth of plants.
• It is a finite and non-renewable natural resource.
• It can help alleviate food insecurity. It is the source of 95 per cent of our food.
• However, despite the essential role that soil plays in the lives of people, there is a worldwide increase in degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure driving unsustainable intensification and inadequate governance over this essential resource.
• 33 percent of global soils are already degraded.
• About 815 million people across the world are food insecure and about 2 billion people nutritionally insecure.
The World Soil Day 2017 aims to spread messages on the importance of soil quality for food security, healthy ecosystems and human well-being.
• The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) adopted a resolution in 2002 proposing 5 December as World Soil Day to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being.
• Under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand and within the framework of the ‘Global Soil Partnership’, FAO supported the formal establishment of World Soil Day as a global awareness raising platform.
• The FAO Conference that was held in June 2013 unanimously approved World Soil Day and requested official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly.
• The day was designated officially by the UN General Assembly in December 2013.