Interesting Facts About Dec 5: World Soil Day

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 (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.
The Theme for year 2017 is ‘Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground’. The theme seeks to highlight importance of soil in human livelihoods and increase in degradation of soil resources worldwide due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure driving unsustainable intensification and inadequate governance over this essential resource.
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 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.
Below are some interesting facts about World Soil Day:
1. World Soil Day is celebrated annually on the 5th of December at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome, the regional offices and through national and local events.
2. 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.
3. The best way to celebrate this day is to do exactly what scientists the world over so badly needs to educate ourselves. An enormous amount of damage is done to the planet every year due not to ill will, but to ignorance—many of us simply do not know enough about the earth to know when we are damaging it, sometimes irreparably.
As it turns out, there are a number of things we regular people can do that can greatly help the soil we live off of remain in good condition. For example, we can plant a rain garden. For those of you who may not know what a rain garden is, it’s a shallow depression in the yard or garden rainwater can easily flow into, which helps reduce soil erosion.
4. World Soil day corresponds with the birthday of Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand. This date was proposed by FAO to honor him for his efforts in the promotion of soil science and soil resources conservation and sustainable management.
In 2016, this day was officially recognized in memory and with respect for this beloved monarch who passed away in October 2016 after seven decades as head of state.

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