One annual celebration you might be forgiven for not participating in (or even knowing about) is World Soil Day. Yes, soil—as in that sticky brown stuff that gets walked all over your prized cream carpets. Sadly, it is our ignorance about the importance of soil and the degree to which we take advantage of all that it offers that have led to a drastic reduction in its quality the world over.
These are precisely the problems World Soil Day aims to battle, as few things could be more important to us, the inhabitants of Planet Earth, who could never hope to survive without the land.
Soil is one without a doubt of the most significant parts of the ecosystem, contributing to our food, water and energy and playing an important part in reducing the impact of climate change. For all of these reasons, it’s high time World Soil Day became known to more people than just scientists concerned about the welfare of our planet.
History of World Soil Day
World Soil Day became an international day after the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) recommended it in 2002. Under the leadership of Thailand and within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, FAO supported the formal establishment of World Soil Day. The FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013. It even requested its official adoption at the 68th United Nations General Assembly. As a result, in December 2013, the UN General Assembly responded by designating December 5, 2014, as the first official World Soil Day.
The day also corresponds with the official birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who had officially sanctioned the event. In 2016, this day was officially recognised in memory and with respect for the monarch after he died in October 2016 working as the head of state for seven years.