What and When is World Soil Day?

World Soil Day celebrated the importance of soil in healthy ecosystems and worldwide food security.
World Soil Day celebrated the importance of soil in healthy ecosystems and worldwide food security.

World Soil Day is observed across the globe on December 5th annually. It is a day of awareness, creation, and celebration of the importance of soil and the position this resource holds in the natural ecology. It plays a critical role in the life cycles of plants, animals of all types, and the human race. To plants, soil supplies necessary requirements for growth and development. It is a home for the animals contained within it. These animals enrich it for plant use. The human race has over the years been dependent on both plants and animals for survival. In a nutshell, soil is central to sustenance and maintenance of a balanced natural ecological system on Earth.

Background of World Soil Day

An event to celebrate soil was officially sanctioned by the King of Thailand, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej whose birthday was also on December 5th, thus the coincidence. Henceforth, this date was designated the World Soil Day. Major celebration is done in Rome, which is the headquarters for the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with similar celebrations held worldwide.

Following the death of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October 2016, the World Soil Day had a particular focus on him to respect and honor his role in recognizing the importance of soil. The 2017 celebration was themed ‘Caring for the Planet Starts from the Ground’ and the main conversations propagated were surrounding human wellbeing, role of soil in worldwide food security, and the need to form a deliberate bid to maintain healthy ecosystems.

Significance of World’s Soil Day

The importance of biodiversity remains central to all messages passed by and on the World Soil Day. This is because as it stands, soil is considered a non-renewable resource on Earth. The rate of soil formation is approximately a hundred times less compared to soil erosion. In fact, soil scientists warn that it would take more than 500 years to have 2 cm of top soil form. Soil is at the heart of food security, nutritional security, and climatic conservation. As communicated by FAO, in the world 815 million people are faced by the hostility of food insecurity. Factually, soil is the source of about over 90% of foods. Regarding nutrition, those faced by nutritional insecurity are as much as 2 billion people and this could be as a result of presence of degraded soils as 33% of the Earth’s soil is reportedly degraded. Soil is known to contain carbon in 3 fold compared to the atmosphere and this could play a vital role in climatic preservation.

Importance of World Soil Day

The World’s Soil Day serves to remind people of soil’s importance and helps communicate soil conservation measures. Of the widely passed along measures is maintenance of adequate groundcover and vegetation as these help bring down soil erosion to negligible levels. Application of minimal tillage, increased use of biologic based fertilizers and rotational grazing that is timed are major factors that boost our soils. Those advised against are fossil fuels and non-organic fertilizers usage as these bring about soil degradation. The World’s soil day serves to impart knowledge that is necessary for soil conservation by reminding humans how important soil really is.


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