World Soil Day is commemorated on December 5 annually and is aimed at spreading awareness about the importance of soil. The poor condition of soil leads to degradation, which is a pressing environmental issue globally. The day encourages people to come together and think of sustainable ways to manage soil resources. The date of December 5 was chosen because it coincides with the birthday of Thailand’s King, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who formally sanctioned the event.
World Soil Day: History
In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) proposed a global day to honour soil. The idea was to raise awareness on soil degradation, its effects, and how to prevent it.
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) backed the cause and the establishment of World Soil Day under the leadership of the king of Thailand and the framework of the Global Soil Partnership.
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 5, 2014, to be the first official World Soil Day.
World Soil Day 2021: Theme
“Halt soil salinization, enhance soil production” is the theme for World Soil Day 2021. Its goal is to promote awareness of the importance of healthy ecosystems by tackling issues related to soil management and soil salinisation, which causes erosion, leading to poor agricultural yields in a particular region.
World Soil Day: Significance
To outline the importance of World Soil Day, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, on its official Twitter handle, stated 5 reasons “why we need to cherish the ground beneath our feet”.
95% of the food we eat comes from our #soils.
— FAO (@FAO) December 4, 2021
World Soil Day is commemorated to raise awareness about the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the long-term management of soil resources. The day aims at bringing everyone’s attention to these issues.