World Soil Day 2023: 5 December 2023

world soil day

World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources.

Theme of the year

“Soil and water, a source of life” is the theme of the World Soil Day 2023. 

world soil day

Our planet’s survival depends on the precious link between soil and water.

Did you know?

“Over 95 percent of our food originates from these two fundamental resources.”

Soil water, vital for nutrient absorption by plants, binds our ecosystems together. This symbiotic relationship is the foundation of our agricultural systems.

  • However, in the face of climate change and human activity, our soils are being degraded, putting excessive pressure on our water resources.
  • Erosion disrupts the natural balance, reducing water infiltration and availability for all forms of life.

Sustainable soil management practices, such as

  • minimum tillage,
  • crop rotation,
  • organic matter addition, and
  • cover cropping,
  • improve soil health, reduce erosion and pollution, and enhance water infiltration and storage.

These practices also preserve soil biodiversity, improve fertility, and contribute to carbon sequestration, playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change.

The World Soil Day 2023 (WSD) and its campaign aim to raise awareness on the importance and relationship between soil and water in achieving sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.

soil mixture

“WSD is a unique global platform that not only celebrates soils but also empowers and engages citizens around the world to improve soil health.”

World Soil Day 2023: Key Messages:

📌 Soil and water provide the foundation for food production, ecosystems, and human well-being. Recognizing their invaluable roles, we can take proactive measures to safeguard these resources for future generations;

📌 Soil and water are the medium in which plants grow and obtain essential nutrients;

📌 Rainfed agriculture systems account for 80 percent of croplands, contributing to 60 percent of the global food production. These systems rely heavily on effective soil moisture management practices.

📌Irrigated agriculture systems withdraw 70% of the world’s freshwater and account for 20 percent of croplands.

📌 The health of the soil and the quality and availability of water are interconnected;

📌 Healthy soils, enriched with organic matter, play a crucial role in regulating water retention and availability;

📌 Improved soil and water management improves the land’s capacity to withstand extreme climate events such as droughts, floods and sand/dust storms;

📌 Healthy soils act as a carbon sink, by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, thus contributing to both climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Source: un.org

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