Alianza Mundial por el Suelo

Children's book contest on SOIL BIODIVERSITY

In the framework of World Soil Day (WSD) 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) are therefore launching a scientific children's book contest on Soil Biodiversity with the motto "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity". 



All those interested in soil and biodiversity - soil scientists, researchers, professors, teachers, classrooms, individual students, soil practitioners, designers, photographers or experts from any professional background - are invited to submit their freestyle book proposal for children (age group 6 - 11 yo) based on the WSD 2020 motto: "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity".

Each author and/or group of authors can only submit one entry. All participants are encouraged to learn more about World Soil Day and to consult the European Commission Joint Research Center’s Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas.


Plants nurture a whole world of creatures in the soil, which, in return, feed and protect biodiversity below and above-ground. This diverse community of living organisms keeps the soil healthy and fertile. This vast world determines the main biogeochemical processes that make life possible on Earth. Soil biodiversity plays a vital role in sustaining human welfare, ensuring future agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. But soil biodiversity loss puts our soils and productive lands at risk.   

Participants should develop short scientific texts, facts (with references) and images/designed visuals/hand drawings to illustrate scientific knowledge on soil biodiversity for a young audience. The ideas and proposals should represent the vital role that soil and biodiversity play in sustaining human welfare, ensuring future agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability.


  • The book is intended for children between 6 and 11 years old.  
  • The works will only be accepted in English and can be in color or black and white, and in free genre literary (i.e. scientific literature for children, storyboards, comic strips, poetry, activity booklets, pop-up books, foldables). 
  • Books must be submitted in PDF format with images in high resolution (min 600 dpi).
  • The book should be a maximum of 16 pages in length, including: (1) Cover; (2) Content (freestyle); (3) Back cover. Given the fact that the book is intended for children it is advisable to use visuals, do not exceed 2 000 – 3 000 words in text length for the entire book, work on A paper format. You might want to address the topic in an interdisciplinary way.

Submissions should be sent by 10 November 2020 through any free file transfer service/platform (i.e. Google drive, Share drive, WeTransfer, Dropbox) to [email protected] and [email protected].

In the submission email, author(s) must fill out and submit the mandatory Registration form


The winner will receive a cash prize of 1 000 USD from IUSS and FAO’s GSP. The second and third prize will receive a cash prize of 500 USD and 250 USD respectively. Shortlisted participants will receive publications on soils, a certificate of participation, a mention on the websites ( and, and soil gadgets. The best scientific books will be showcased on FAO, IUSS and GSP digital and social media platforms. The winners will be announced on World Soil Day, 5 December 2020.