World Soil Day

World Soil Day Quick Facts - IN

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2023 Date5 December 2023
2024 Date5 December 2024

World Soil Day

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World Soil Day is an annual observance aimed at raising awareness about the importance of healthy soils for a sustainable environment, food security, and human well-being. The theme for the event changes each year, focusing on specific aspects of soil science, management, and conservation. By fostering a deeper understanding and fostering discussions about the crucial role soils play in agriculture and combating climate change, it encourages global efforts to address the various issues threatening soil health, such as soil degradation, pollution, and erosion.

The history of World Soil Day dates back to 2002 when the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) proposed to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to dedicate a specific day to celebrate the significance of soil. The United Nations officially established World Soil Day on December 5, 2013. For India, a country heavily reliant on agriculture, observing this day is pivotal to recognize the role of soil health in the country's food security and agricultural productivity. India is grappling with issues such as soil degradation, nutrient deficiencies, and soil salinity, affecting millions of farmers and the overall agricultural output.

In India, World Soil Day is observed through various awareness programs, seminars, and workshops organized by the government, educational institutions, and non-governmental organizations. These initiatives aim to educate farmers, policymakers, and the general public about best practices in soil management, sustainable farming methods, and conservation techniques. Soil health cards, which provide data on soil quality and fertility, have also been introduced by the Indian government as an essential tool to help farmers make informed decisions for better crop production and soil management. World Soil Day is observed in India on December 5, in line with the globally recognized date, highlighting the country's commitment to conserving its soil resources and ensuring a sustainable future.

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World Soil Day facts

  • The theme for World Soil Day in 2023 was Keep soil alive, protect biodiversity.
  • According to the U.N, an estimated 90% of organisms live or spend part of their life cycle in soil.
  • As water seeps through layers of soil, it gets purified. Soil microbes act like a filter, cleaning the water before it reaches groundwater reserves.
  • Saline and alkaline soils are found in arid and semi-arid regions, coastal areas, and parts of North India. These soil types have a high salt content, which hinders crop growth. Reclamation efforts, such as adding gypsum or organic matter, can improve the soil's fertility.
  • India is highly vulnerable to soil erosion due to deforestation, overgrazing, and unsustainable agricultural practices. Soil erosion leads to loss of topsoil, reduced soil fertility, and has adverse effects on agricultural productivity and, consequently, food security.

Top things to do in India for World Soil Day

  • Practice soil conservation and preservation in your community by using mulch in your lawn. You can also plant cover crops which will help manage soil erosion and preserve soil quality.
  • Help promote and raise awareness about World Soil Day. The Food and Agriculture Organization site has posters and Materials that can aid in the campaign to highlight the importance of soil.
  • Participate in volunteering activities organized by environmental NGOs or local communities. This could involve activities such as soil conservation drives, clean-up campaigns in polluted areas, or initiatives to restore degraded lands.
  • Work with local communities and organizations to plant trees and create green spaces in urban areas. This not only helps in soil conservation but also promotes a healthier environment.

World Soil Day references and related sites

UN: Soil Day Why Soil is Important

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