World Soil Day (WSD) is an international event celebrated every year on 5 December to create awareness among the masses about the importance of healthy soil, and advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources for human well-being, food security, and ecosystems.
Also, it is observed to encourage people to make efforts to improve soil health, and highlight a serious environmental issue, caused due to the decline in soil health. Industrialization, improper use, or poor management of agricultural land are the leading cause of soil Degradation.
Soil plays a huge role in our lives. The bottom line is that soil is necessary for life because it works as a filter and as a medium for plant growth. The fertile soil helps in the growth and development of plants. It supports many life forms including bacteria, fungi, algae, etc.
History of World Soil Day
The International of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in the year 2002 recommended the proposal for a global day to raise awareness of soil degradation effects and prevention. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) supported the creation of WSD within the context of the Global Soil Partnership and under the direction of the King of Thailand.
The day was intended to serve as a global forum for increasing awareness of problems with the management of soil resources and encouraging young people to make efforts to improve soil health.
In June 2013, the FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day and requested the 68th UN General Assembly to formally adopt it. In response, the UN General Assembly declared December 5, 2014, the first official World Soil Day, in December 2013.
The date of 5 December for WSD was chosen because it coincides with the birthday anniversary of the King of Thailand- H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who gave the event official approval.
Significance of World Soil Day
The worldwide community recognizes soil salinization and alteration as among the most significant issues affecting agricultural productivity, food security, and sustainability in arid and semi-arid countries. These processes are major sources of soil degradation that pose a threat to ecosystems.
Salt-affected soils have serious impacts on soil health, such as a decrease in agricultural productivity, water quality, soil biodiversity, and soil erosion. The ability of salt-affected soils to buffer and filter out contaminants is diminished.
The availability of micronutrients and the capacity of crops to absorb water are both decreased in salt-affected soils. They also concentrate ions that are toxic to plants and may degrade the soil structure.
The significance of World Soil Day is to promote the importance of soil to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Stopping soil salinization and increasing soil productivity are some other goals of this day.
The Theme of International Soil Day 2022
Every year, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launches a specific theme to make this international event more effective. The 2020 theme was “Keep Soil Alive, Protect Soil Biodiversity”, andthe theme for World Soil Day 2021 was, “Halt soil salinization, Boost soil productivity.”
The theme of World Soil Day or International Soil Day 2022 has not been announced yet. They are working on it. Hope! The theme will be launched soon.
How do we celebrate soil day?
Every year the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organizes a campaign and encourages youth, adult students, farmers, teachers, NGOs, and private sector organizations around the world to join the campaign to care for the soil.
Various challenges are hosted such as signing a pledge card, planting a seed, taking a photo, and sharing it on social media. The best pictures are shared on FAO social handles.
Moreover, on this event, the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award (WSDA) is given to the individual or organization that has significantly contributed to the best soil day activity or campaign.
An additional honor presented each year is the Glinka World Soil Prize. This honor goes to someone who is committed to finding a solution to the global challenge of soil degradation.
The goals of this day are to stop soil salinization, increase soil productivity, and increase knowledge of the difficulties in managing soil and combating the problem of soil salinization. The goal of the effort is to enhance soil health.
International Soil Day Quotes;
(I) “A Man of Knowledge like a rich Soil feeds If not a world of Corn, a world of Weeds.”- Benjamin Franklin
(II) “The plowed ground smells of earthworms and empires.”- Justin Isherwood
(III) “Landscapes evolve steadily by jerks.”- Ray Daniels
(IV) “Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals.”- Aldo Leopold
(V) “I would rather be tied to the soil as a serf … Than be king of all these dead and destroyed.”- Homer, Odyssey
(VI) “Maps are a way of organizing wonder.”- Peter
Frequently asked Questions on World Soil Day
Ans: The theme of World Soil Day or International Soil Day 2022 has not been announced yet. They are working on it. Hope! The theme will be launched soon.
Ans: World Soil Day is celebrated to promote the importance of soil to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Stopping soil salinization and increasing soil productivity are some other goals of this day.
Ans: In June 2013, the FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day and requested the 68th UN General Assembly to formally adopt it. In response, the UN General Assembly declared December 5, 2014, the first official World Soil Day, in December 2013.
Various challenges are hosted such as signing a pledge card, planting a seed, taking a photo, and sharing it on social media. The best pictures are shared on FAO social handles. We can participate in these events to figure out the real difficulties that cause soil salinations.