This year’s World Soil Day (December 5th) is marked under the slogan “Stop soil salinization, increase soil productivity” and aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing growing challenges in land management, combating salinisation, increasing land awareness and encouraging societies to improve land health.
Soil biodiversity supports the functioning of ecosystems that enable the maintenance of food and water safety and provide multiple benefits for virtually all aspects of sustainable development.
Soil wildlife plays an important role in maintaining healthy soil in a number of ways: through the circulation of nutrients, carbon storage, increasing water retention capacity and reducing the risk of soil erosion. It can also help fight plant pests, pathogens and diseases and increase plant resistance to drought, toxicity and salinity.
Soil salinization occurs due to several factors. Unsustainable agricultural practices such as improper irrigation and fertilizer use, deforestation and over-exploitation of land can cause the accumulation of large amounts of salt in agro-ecosystems, degrading the landscape and making land less productive. Combined with the effects of climate change and land degradation, this problem is getting worse.
About 833 million hectares or 8.7% of the total land area on the planet is affected by the problem of salinization!
The threat to soil health is a threat to food safety!
More sustainable management of land resources through the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of land biodiversity can play an important role in transforming our food systems.
We invite you all to reflect on your knowledge of soil biodiversity and the importance that healthy soil has on our diet and our lives.