February 5, 2023, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

World Soil Day: awake and be aware

The Nepal Weekly
December 6, 2022

World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.

An international day to celebrate soil was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002. Under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand and within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, FAO has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness raising platform. The FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013 and requested its official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013, the UN General Assembly responded by designating 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day.

Soil is a world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components that provides food for humans and animals through plant growth.

Like us, soils need a balanced and varied supply of nutrients in appropriate amounts to be healthy. Agricultural systems lose nutrients with each harvest, and if soils are not managed sustainably, fertility is progressively lost, and soils will produce nutrient-deficient plants.

Soil nutrient loss is a major soil degradation process threatening nutrition. It is recognized as being among the most critical problems at a global level for food security and sustainability all around the globe.

Over the last 70 years, the level of vitamins and nutrients in food has drastically decreased, and it is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide suffer from lack of micronutrients, known as hidden hunger because it is difficult to detect.

Soil degradation induces some soils to be nutrient depleted losing their capacity to support crops, while others have such a high nutrient concentration that represent a toxic environment to plants and animals, pollutes the environment and cause climate change.

Mentioning importance of soil, globally, recognised literatures state that  95% of our food comes from soils, 18 naturally occurring chemical elements are essential to plants, agricultural production will have to increase by 60% to meet the global food demand in 2050, 33% of soils are degraded, Up to 58% more food could be produced through sustainable soil management.

World Soil Day 2022 carries slogan “Soils: Where food begins” aiming to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.