New Delhi: World Soil Day is commemorated every year on December 5, with the aim to shine the spotlight on the essentiality of healthy soils to sustain life on the planet. The Day also aims to mobilise public and political will to address challenges to the sustainable management of soil resources.
World Soil Day became an international day to celebrate Soil after the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002 recommended it.
‘Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity’ is the theme for World Soil Day 2020. It is important for people to understand that our food security depends on healthy soil.
Soils form the basis of biogeochemical processes that make life possible on our planet Earth. Soils provide food and various ecological services for human well-being and other life forms. And, just like other biotic components, soils are a living resource as they also breathe, need water and keep changing and growing with time.
The FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013. It even requested its official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. As a result in December 2013, the UN General Assembly responded by designating 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day.
Moreover, the UN report also reveals that the date of December 5 for WSD was chosen because it corresponds with the official birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who had officially sanctioned the event. Two years later in 2016 this day was officially recognised in memory and with respect for this beloved monarch who passed away in October 2016, after working as the head of state for seven years.
World Soil Day has been celebrated every year since 2014. In 2019, the Global Soil Partnership dedicated WSD 2019 to the theme “Stop soil erosion, Save our future”. It was celebrated in more than 100 countries through 560 events. The UN report further reveals that a large number of articles in major newspapers reached 650 million people worldwide. Many high-profile people and household joined the campaign.