Partenariat mondial sur les sols

Today is World Soil Day

Let's Stop soil erosion to Save our future

World Soil Day official website

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05/12/2019

Along with the UN FAO official celebrations in Rome (agenda | webcast), New York (webcast), Bangkok, Sochi, Tunis, Xi'an and in FAO regional, subregional and country offices, this year we have 450 events taking place in some 100 countries. 

If you haven't done it yet, remember to post your activity or event on the virtual WSD map by using this online form.

Official launches

During the FAO official celebrations RECSOIL, Recarbonization of global soils and the Soil loss Atlas of Malawi will be launched.

Prizes and awards

Xu Minggang, China

Dr. Xu Minggang is the winner of the Glinka World Soil Prize 2019. The results of his research on soil organic matter have been extended to a total of 39.8 million hectares of soils, generating an annual income of 4.7 billion US$ for rural communities over the last 15 years. In China, his achievements are illustrated by 260 scientific articles and had a positive impact on food security for over 1.4 billion people. Watch the video!

ACCS, Costa Rica

Costa Rican Association of Soil Science - ACCS - wins the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award for 2019. Hands on the SOIL in La Sabana promoted massive applications of compost, hills dedicated to soil conservation practices, and soil fairs with workshops to stop soil pollution. They also developed the National Decarbonization Plan, to become the World’s first Carbon-Free country by 2021. Watch the video!

Video message of Eduardo Mansur, Director of the Land and Water Division

'A major enemy of soil is erosion. It affects soil health and productivity by removing the highly fertile topsoil and exposing the remaining soil. Today I urge all of us to take action. Fighting soil erosion must be everyone's fight. Join our efforts. Stop soil erosion Save our future. Happy World Soil Day!' Watch the video.

What is soil erosion?

Soil erosion is the removal of the most fertile top layer of soil from the land surface through water, wind and tillage.

Some key facts on erosion

Crop yield losses: soil erosion decreases agricultural productivity. By 2050, soil erosion could lead to a 10% loss in crop production. If nothing is done, by 2050 the estimated crop yield losses would be equivalent to removing 1.5 million sq/km of land from crop production – or roughly all the arable land in India.

Illegal deforestation: human-induced erosion is mainly caused by the removal of vegetative cover, down-slope tillage, overgrazing, (illegal) deforestation, land leveling, and improper land-use changes. 

The clock is ticking: soil erosion is the number one threat to our planet’s soils. It occurs naturally under all climatic conditions and on all continents but it is accelerated, up to 1 000 times, by unsustainable human activities. 

Soil is a finite resource: it can take up to 1 000 years to produce just 1 centimeter of top soil, but this 1 centimeter can be lost with just one heavy rainfall if it is not protected, such as with vegetative cover. 

More consequences of erosion: it degrades ecosystem functions, amplifies hydrogeological risk such as landslide and floods. By displacing organic carbon, soil erosion decreases the soil’s potential to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Our soils host about ¼ of our planet’s biodiversity; by removing the most fertile layer of soil, erosion causes soil biodiversity decline. Soil particles displaced by wind and water can lead to off-site soil and water pollution, which has implications on our health. In the most severe cases soil erosion can lead to displacement of human population. More

💬Campaign material

If you are planning an outreach activity or event (WSD brochure), you can download many communication products (all files are print-ready) from the WSD work space including soil LAB, soil PAINTING and an activity book for kids:

Watch the video animation

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📢Share it!

Please join in spreading the word and calling for action! You can also share your actions on social media channels and post WSD promotional video, web story, giphies or other material from the WSD 2019 trello board.  

Spread the word on social media

#StopSoilErosion   &    #WorldSoilDay 

Want to see the WSD2018 worldwide celebrations in a glimpse, watch the video

For further information, contact the WSD team: world-soil-day@fao.org.