UN International Year of Soils: Scotland’s Contribution

The IYS2015 was launched in the Scottish Parliament on 31 March 2015 with a particular focus on Scotland’s soils.

Hosted by CIFAL Scotland, UNITAR, SEPA, SRUC, SNH, The James Hutton Institute, the event gathered 80 delegates including parliamentarians, consular representatives, scientists, and local soil associations.

Co-hosted by Rob Gibson, MSP the event provided a platform for showcasing Scotland’s active engagement with the sustainable management and protection of soil resources. Featuring speeches included Aileen Mcleod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change, James Curran, CEO SEPA, Susan Davies, SNH CEO and Geoff Simm, representing the Scottish Government’s Main Research Providers. The evening also featured a recorded message by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

Mr. Curran finished his address with a quotation from an ancient Sanskrit Scripture from 1500BC, which contextualised the universality of the issue over time and place:

"Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it".

In addition a motion in support of the International Year of Soils has been tabled at the Parliament, which has received a cross-party support.

Recorded message by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva






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