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World Soil Day celebration, 4 December 2020 (13:00 - 14:30 CET): Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity

Virtual celebration to focus on the importance of soils’ diversity for agri-food systems – Launch of the report on the “State of knowledge of soil biodiversity”


Soils are essential to life on Earth. Their protection is of the utmost importance to ensure the future of agri-food systems and the provision of key ecosystem services. While there is increasing attention to the importance of biodiversity for food security and nutrition, especially above-ground biodiversity such as plants and animals, less attention is being paid to the biodiversity beneath our feet, soil biodiversity.

This year’s World Soil Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of the diversity of soil organisms for most terrestrial ecosystem services, including food production, water storage and purification, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration and source of medicines.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the observance of the World Soil Day will be celebrated virtually, on Friday, 4 December 2020, 13:00 - 14:30 (Rome time).

The observance will highlight how soil biodiversity can provide a truly natural solution to many of the problems humanity faces today, from the field to the global scale, as well as efforts to conserve and protect it. 

During this celebration, FAO will launch the first ever report on the “State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity” covering its current status, challenges and potentialities. The Glinka World Soil Prize and the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award will also be awarded.

The event will bring together government officials, international organisations and a wide array of experts on soil biodiversity. Discussions will be moderated by award-winning Thomson Reuters Foundation correspondent, Thin Lei Win.

Journalists can follow the event via Zoom here. The event will also be webcast here.  Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish.

The celebration can be followed on social media using the hashtags #WorldSoilDay, #SoilBiodiversity


What:           World Soil Day 2020 – Virtual celebration


When:          Friday, 4 December 2020, 13:00 -14:30 (Rome time)



                       QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Biodiversity  

Victor Vasiliev, Permanent Representative of Russian Federation to FAO, will deliver the Glinka World Soil Prize 2020

Thanawat Tiensin, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to FAO, will deliver the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2020

Laura Bertha, President of the International Union of Soil Science, will announce the winners of the Booklet on soil biodiversity for children


Rosa Cuevas Corona, FAO-Global Soil Partnership, will present the key findings of the State of Soil Biodiversity Report


Kostantin Viatkin, FAO- Global Soil Partnership, will launch the Armenian Soil Information System

Where:       Webcast or  Zoom


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