The World Soil Day ‘Soil is a solid ground for life’
By: Dr .Waleed Abobatta
Soil is vital for farming and food security.
Soil deserves some respect, unfortunately often, most people treat soil like dirt.
What’s Soil? Soil is made up of organic remains, clay and rock particles, found on the Earth’s surface. It contributes to food, reduces biodiversity loss, and secures energy.
Problems like deforestation, bad agricultural practices and pollution causes soil degradation and erosion.
The UN saw a need to raise awareness about the dangers of soil loss, so it created World Soil Day and made it an official day. It was first celebrated on December 5, 2012, which corresponded with the birthday of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who officially sanctioned the event.
Soils have been neglected for too long. We fail to connect soil with our food, water, climate, biodiversity and life. We must invert this tendency and take up some preserving and restoring actions.
Aim of World Soil Day:
The World Soil Day campaign aims to connect people with soils and raise awareness on their critical importance in our lives.
To raise awareness of the importance of soil and the need to use it sustainably, the United Nations has declared 2015 as International Year of Soils.
What Can We Do?
Thousands of soil scientists and organizations, like the International Union of Soil Sciences, promote the day via social media, YouTube videos, and local events to talk about issues such as soil erosion and preserving soil.
Benefits of Soil:
Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fiber production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being.
It is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same attention as above-ground biodiversity. Soils play a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts.
The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil so that its preservation may contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The maintenance or enhancement of global soil resources is essential if humanity’s need for food, water, and energy security is to be met.
Understandably, it’s easy to take soil for granted because it’s mostly hidden from view and few who live off the farm have reason to give it a second thought.
Yet this amazing resource is responsible for nearly all life on the planet.
According to the FAO, the demands of a growing population for food, feed and fiber from the world’s soil will increase by 60 per cent by 2050
Soil is very important as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to the human commonwealth through its contribution to food, water and energy security and as a mitigation of biodiversity loss and climate change.
Fortunately, scientists, conservationists and farmers are increasingly recognizing that keeping our soil healthy and functioning is the key to our survival
It is celebrated particularly by the global community of 60 000 soil scientists charged with the responsibility of generating and communicating soil knowledge for the common good.
Requirements for Soil Enhancement
We must work directly with private landowners to improve the health of the soil on different lands. And by improving the health of the soil, we are also improving the health and vitality of our farms, families and communities.
This renewed focus on the health of our soil has created an exciting new revolution in different places in the world, as farmers, ranchers and other landowners are increasingly making their land more productive and sustainable through soil health management systems.
Although all farming operations are different, almost all can benefit from keeping the soil covered as much as possible; disturbing the soil as little as possible; keeping plants growing throughout the year to feed the soil; and diversifying plants as much as possible using crop rotation and cover crops.
By improving soil health, the agricultural producers can harvest benefits on and off the farm including increasing farmland sustainability and resilience; improving water and air quality; providing wildlife habitat; and reducing flooding.
“World Soil Day serves as a reminder to all of us that we owe our existence to the soil”