World Soil Day – a holiday important to each of us

Światowy Dzień Gleb

World Soil Day is a holiday that aims to raise public awareness of the important role soil plays – not only in the environment, but also in everyone’s lives. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that the condition of the soil has a huge impact on the quality of food, water and the climate. That’s why we’ve been celebrating the holiday that is World Soil Day for the past ten years.

Since when do we celebrate World Soil Day?

It has not been known for a long time that soils have been neglected. The problem was first highlighted during the 68th National Assembly. United Nations meeting. Representatives from each country decided to take a closer look at the importance of providing adequate protection for soils. That’s why in 2013. The UN has adopted a resolution establishing December 5 as World Soil Day. However, the history of this holiday goes back even further, to 2002. At the time, the International Union of Soil Science Societies was the first to establish the holiday. Initially, it was celebrated mainly by specialists and soil science enthusiasts. It was only later, thanks to the efforts of people in these circles, that the UN decided on the need to emphasize the importance of this day.

How is the celebration of World Soil Day going?

World Soil Day is gaining in importance every year. Today, the holiday is celebrated in more than 50 countries around the world. In Poland, as in other countries, World Soil Day is celebrated primarily by those belonging to the soil science community. Various types of institutions, education centers, museums or natural science universities organize events on this day to raise awareness about the poor condition of soils. According to the Polish Soil Association, this year’s World Soil Day is being celebrated under the theme, “Soil and Water: the Source of Life.”

One of the organizations that organize the celebration is the Center for Soil Science Education – Soil Museum in Krakow. This year there will be a special meeting, combined with a lecture, as well as a workshop during which participants will have a chance to learn what factors affect the health of soils, how to conduct soil tests, and how to… paint with soil.

World Soil Day
World Soil Day - a holiday important to each of us 1

What makes the condition of soils so important?

Soil formation and formation can take many thousands of years. It is in the soil that organisms that make up as much as 25 percent live. The biodiversity of our planet. Soil makes life on Earth possible. It regulates the circulation of water and valuable nutrients, and provides food for entire ecosystems. It is the soil that filters the water through its ability to retain contaminants. Its important feature is also retention – it absorbs water like a sponge protecting us from droughts and floods. Unfortunately, the current soil situation is dire. It is estimated that even in the case of 60-70 percent. land in the European Union, the condition of the soil is not good. We’ve already written about how the European Court of Auditors evaluated soil management in the EU.

For many years, the soil has been subject to very serious degradation processes, and in the process has been exposed to numerous pollutants. Current land degradation is costing the Union tens of billions of euros a year. Of course, it is not only economic calculations that matter – it is the soil that provides food security. At the same time, its condition also translates into food quality, which in turn has a huge impact on everyone’s health.

What the European Union’s 2030 soil strategy looks like.

Healthy soils are of paramount importance in the context of achieving the climate and biodiversity goals of the European Green Deal. It is worth being aware of the importance of these goals for each of us – soils are one of the cornerstones of environmental well-being.

That’s why in 2017 the European Commission published a EU Soil Strategy 2030. – Reaping the benefits of healthy soil for people, food, nature and climate COM (2021) 699.

The strategy includes a number of activities, including:

  • The creation of a common agricultural policy,
  • Preparation and implementation of an action plan for the elimination of pollution,
  • Creating a roadmap for a circular economy,
  • Implementing a strategy for the chemicals used,
  • Preparing for the coming climate change,
  • and many others.

The overarching goal is for all soil ecosystems in the European Union to be in good condition by 2050.

At Water Matters, we constantly strive to inform and raise awareness about the need to protect soil ecosystems. Healthy soil is a necessary step to improve our health.

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