Healthy food, healthy climate, healthy planet: they are all impossible without healthy soil.
Soil is literally the foundation of human wellbeing on this planet. That’s why on World Soil Day we celebrate this precious and precarious layer of life-giving substance.
Almost 99% of our calories come from land. So we can say soil is where our food begins.
It can take up to a thousand years to produce just one inch of soil. But it only takes moments to destroy it – through flash floods or sand and dust storms that strip our fertile topsoil.
Every five seconds, the equivalent of one soccer field is eroded.
We must urgently change the way we care for our land and the way we feed our world of eight billion people.
Diversifying cropping system, no-till farming, replacing chemical fertilizers and pesticides with organic alternatives are just some solutions that can lead to healthier soils and more nutritious foods.
Beyond food, soil is a mighty ally in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
More organic carbon can be stored in the soil than in vegetation and atmosphere combined. Restoring degraded land makes it a powerful carbon sink.
Finally, the world’s soils are teeming with biodiversity: they are home to one trillion times more bacteria than there are stars in the universe!
Fungi is an essential part of healthy soil. It breaks down organic matter so that nutrients become available for plants.
And then there are over 2,700 species of earthworms. These vital but under-appreciated creatures keep our soil alive and fertile.
This World Soil Day and every day, let’s celebrate our soil, let’s cherish our soil, let’s save our soil.