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FAO celebrates World Soil Day and kicks off International Year of Soils

Friday 5th December 2014, soils were celebrated worldwide in more than 50 countries.

The launch of the International Year of Soils took place during the celebration of the first official UN World Soil Day 2014.

08/12/2014

"Today, we have more than 805 million people facing hunger and malnutrition. Population growth will require an approximately increase of 60 percent in food production. As so much of our food depends on soils, it is easy to understand how important it is to keep them healthy and productive," said Graziano da Silva FAO Director General, adding: "Unfortunately, 33 percent of our global soil resources are under degradation and human pressures on soils are reaching critical limits, reducing and sometimes eliminating essential soil functions." "I invite all of us to take an active role in promoting the cause of soils during 2015 as it is an important year for paving the road towards a real sustainable development for all and by all," he added.

(on the left: EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella,  top right: Celebration at Durgapur village in Bangladesh with farmers gathering in a paddy field, below right: FAO panel of speakers for the World Soil Day celebration in Rome)