World Soil Day 2022: History, Significance, Celebrations and Theme

World Soil Day is annually observed on 5th December. It is a UN recognized event. This day raises awareness about the importance of soil as without it there will be no food security in our world. 

Soil is vastly underrated yet incredibly vital, the world would have no food security without soil. Thankfully, there’s a day dedicated to the importance of healthy, sustainable soil management and keeping it that way.   

This day is observed as a means to focus the people’s attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources in our world as it is extremely important for the betterment of our world. 

Event World Soil Day
Date December 5, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The day raises awareness about the importance of soil
Observed by World wide

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World Soil Day History: 

Humans have had a strong connection to soils since the first hunters and gatherers settled down to farm, but that doesn’t mean that we have been scientific about our relationship. We are keen observers of our environment. We have attempted throughout history to determine which human impacts were beneficial and which were detrimental but not always with success. Our relationship with Soil has primarily had an economic base. Humans have used whatever tools available for the purpose of using soils to gain the highest yield on labor and inputs.

Among the first soil scientists were the Greek Theophrastus (371 BC-287 BC) who wrote “On the Causes of Plants”, and the Chinese Fan Shengzhi (1st century BC) who wrote on many agricultural topics including “Field Usage, Plowing, Irrigation, Harvesting,” and other crop specific topics. Their works were based on observation so, in the modern world, they are not considered “scientists.” They were excellent observers and were very knowledgeable about soils and crops but they didn’t conduct experiments to test theories. 

As early as the 16th century in Europe Renaissance scholars began looking at the world in a new way. All aspects of the world were subjects for study. The concepts of biological and chemical laws were seen as both being influenced by humans and influencing. The beginnings of soil science started with an exploration of soil biota and their processes. Many famous scholars worked on uncovering new information about soil. The father of soil science, Vasily Dokuchaev (1846-1903), was a Russian geologist. He conceived of soil as a living system and saw soil as a biological science. Up until then scientists had seen soil as merely a medium for holding plants, soil was seen as small pieces of rock and literally dead. 

An international day to celebrate soil was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002. Under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand and within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, FAO(Food and Agriculture Organization) has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness raising platform. The FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013 and requested its official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013, the UN General Assembly responded by designating 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day. 

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World Soil Day Significance: 

Have you been aware of the fact that there are more living organisms in a tablespoon of soil than there are people in the world? Soil is a world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components that provides food for humans and animals through plant growth. Like us, soils need a balanced and varied supply of nutrients in appropriate amounts to be healthy. Agricultural systems lose nutrients with each harvest, and if soils are not managed sustainably, fertility is progressively lost, and soils will produce nutrient-deficient plants.

Soil nutrient loss is a major soil degradation process threatening nutrition. It is recognized as being among the most critical problems at a global level for food security and sustainability all around the globe. Over the last 70 years, the level of vitamins and nutrients in food has drastically decreased, and it is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide suffer from lack of micronutrients, known as hidden hunger because it is difficult to detect. Soil degradation induces some soils to be nutrient depleted losing their capacity to support crops, while others have such a high nutrient concentration that represent a toxic environment to plants and animals, pollutes the environment and cause climate change.

Hence this day raises awareness towards the importance of soil preservation and management to address this issue. It can be achieved through various means like soil information for most purposes is in the form of dozens of national soil classification systems. A more standardized soil mapping system at the agricultural level would benefit farmers as we go into the 21st century. Local soil maps, with the aid of new technologies such as GPS sensing and on-site geophysical instrumentation, are constantly being updated. Agricultural land becomes subdivisions, deserts become larger, climate change creates land/water boundary changes. 

Soil scientists have many different job titles. Some work for government agencies, at the local county, state, or national level. Some soil scientists only do research. Many teach at universities while doing research. With a growing interest in sustainable and regenerative agriculture, many soil scientists have become consultants, helping farmers transition from conventional to sustainable agricultural practices. All their work is aimed at helping the farmer grow a higher yielding crop while retaining, or increasing, the fertility of the soil.  

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World Soil Day Celebrations: 

One of the best thing which you can do for soil preservation and management is composting. So celebrate World Soil Day at home, school, or in the community by conducting small experiments with composting to witness the amazing properties of soil first-hand. In this way you will be also able to make your little contribution towards soil preservation in our world. 

The day began as a way to generate awareness on how people inadvertently damage the planet. Most of it stems from ignorance, and the best way to counter that is to educate ourselves and those around us. So make the full use of the opportunity by learning more about soil conservation and after learning also tells about it to others as well so they can be awared as well. 

You can also use this opportunity to connect yourself with soil, for that you can visit any community garden or places enriched with soil! Grow a lasting relationship with soil by being around it regularly. You can also plant seeds on soil for this day as in this way you will also address the problem of deforestation. There are also many organizations working for soil management so you can donate to these charities too. 

World Soil Day Theme: 

The theme of World Soil Day 2022 is “Soils: Where food begins”. 

The theme aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.

Most Searched FAQs on World Soil Day: 

1. When is World Soil Day observed? 

World Soil Day is annually observed on 5th December. 

2. Why should we save soil? 

Healthy soil is the world’s lifeline, ensures a steady food supply, preserves clean water, increases biodiversity, and helps mitigate climate change. 

3. What is the theme of World Soil Day 2022? 

The theme of World Soil Day 2022 is “Soils: Where food begins”. 

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