2017 Theme: â€˜Caring for the Planet starts from the Groundâ€™
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):
- Soil holds three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and can help us meet the challenges of a changing climate
- 815 million people are food insecure and 2 billion people are nutritionally insecure, but we can mitigate this through soil.
- 95% of our food comes from soil
- 33% of our global soils are already degraded
Soil is the upper layer of earth, a mixture of organic and inorganic matter, in which plants grow.
It is a finite natural resource. On a human time-scale it is non-renewable. However, despite the essential role that soil plays in human livelihoods, there is a worldwide increase in degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure driving unsustainable intensification and inadequate governance over this essential resource.
World Soil Day 2017 activities aim to communicate messages on the importance of soil quality for food security, healthy ecosystems and human well-being.