World Soil Day is on December 5th, this annual awareness day run by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is usually held on the same date every year. The event aims to raise awareness of the importance of soil quality for human well-being, food security and ecosystems, and events are held at the UN FAO offices and through community based events. The day was first considered by the International Union of Soil Sciences in 2002, but was not officially endorsed by FAO until 2013.
Soil is the top layer of the earth, the layer which everyone is familiar with, but not everyone knows much about, many householders don’t even know if their garden is clay, loam or sandy soil or a mixture, but the knowledge of soil type, structure, management and condition is what can make the difference between good plant growth and a thriving ecosystem and a wasteland.
Soil is made up of organic and inorganic matter, air and water, and the mixture depends on the way the soil is managed or neglected, which in turn impacts on how plants grow. The human race is dependent on soil for food, and soil erosion and poison leads to famine, soil also holds significant carbon, which is lost through erosion, which increases climate change.
We all depend on soil, so the more that that is understood of it, the better the human race thrives, from beautiful gardens to crops that produce our food, an example is where programmes in Africa have taught small farmers to manage soil against drought and erosion, meaning bigger and better crops and less hunger and poverty in some areas.
Members of the public can liaise with FAO to run soil themed events for World Soil Day, educating people on soil and the significance of soil and it’s treatment.