World Soil Day

World Soil Day 2017 celebration in New-York

Webcast | 1.15 - 2.30 pm , 5 Dec 2017 (New York time (GMT-5)

WSD Celebrations in FAO Liaison Office in New York

Conference Room 8, United Nations Headquarters, New York

On 20 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly at its 68th session designated 5 December as World Soil Day. The adopted resolution notes that soils constitute the foundation for agricultural development, essential ecosystem functions and food security, and hence are key to sustaining life on earth.

2017 World Soil Day focused on the theme “Caring for the planet starts from the ground”, acknowledging the importance of soils for food security and nutrition, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable development. Soils hold around a quarter of the world’s biodiversity and are where 95 percent of our food is born. Healthy soils supply the essential nutrients, water, oxygen and root support that our food-producing plants need to grow and flourish.

World Soil Day celebration at the United Nations Headquarters in New York took place on Tuesday, 5 December 2017, in an event co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Colombia, Lesotho, the Netherlands and Thailand to the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The observance will pay special tribute to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, a soil scientist and advocate for sustainable soil management, on whose birthday World Soil Day is celebrated.  

The event explored ways healthy soils can support sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Healthy soils can contribute directly to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDGs 1, 2, 3, 12, 13 and 15. Soil pollution is an issue of consideration that has an impact on the environment, the food chain and human health, and is thus specifically addressed in SDGs 3 and 12. Meanwhile, SDG 15, which is among the set of goals to come (together with SDGs 6, 7, 11 and 12) under review at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, speaks of the need to combat desertification and restore degraded land and soil. 

World Soil Day 2017 saw the launch of the first ever Global Soil Organic Carbon map.

Tuesday 5 December 2017, 1:15 - 2:30pm

Conference Room 8, United Nations Headquarters, New York

More information here:

FAO Liaison Office in New York | Agenda | Webcast | Presentations (soon available) | Photogallery 





1:15 - 1:25pm

Opening remarks


H.E. Mr. Virachai Plasai, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations


The event will be moderated by Ms. Carla Mucavi, Director of the FAO Liaison Office to the United Nations

1:25 - 2:00pm

Interactive Dialogue

Mr. Satira Udomsri, Expert on Soil Survey and Classification, Land Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand

Mr. Yusuf Yigini, Soil Expert, FAO

Prof. Gary M. Pierzynski, Kansas State University, Representative of the ITPS

Ms. Krishna Nandhini, Deputy Chief of Office, UNCCD/CBD Liaison Office

Ms. Maddie Monty, Membership Manager & Policy Advisor, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)

2:00 - 2:25pm

Open Discussion

This segment will be opened by H.E. Mr. Carlos Arturo Morales López, Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations and Ms. Sandra Pellegrom, Head of Development, Humanitarian Affairs and Human Rights Section, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, followed by an open discussion from the floor.  

2:25 - 2:30pm

Closing Remarks

H.E. Mr. Kelebone Maope. Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Lesotho to the United Nations