World Soil Day

Soil is the basis of life and biodiversity on Earth

December 9, 2020, Almaty-Nursultan, Kazakhstan - "Soil is the basis of life and biodiversity on Earth" - this was the title of an online conference in Kazakhstan dedicated to the International Soil Day and uniting Kazakhstan, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

International consultants of FAO, scientists of the Kazakh Research Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, scientists and teachers of the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University made presentations at the Conference.

In addition to the issues of rational use of soil resources and agricultural land, the Conference included a broad exchange of views of scientists on new approaches to the conservation and reproduction of soil fertility, including resources in arid and saline regions of the country.

Kristina Toderich, international expert on salinization of the FAO-GEF CACILM II project, Professor at Tottori University (Japan), presented a report on the Diversity of halophytic flora in Central Asia and its role in improving soil quality and ecosystem stability, which was rich in content, scientific evidence, and promising results of field research.

The presentation of Nagima Altynbekova, Senior Researcher at the Kazakh Research Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, was devoted to the history of soil research and their role in the preservation of soil resources in Kazakhstan.

Welcoming the participants of the online Conference, the regional coordinator of the FAO-GEF “Integrated natural resources management in drought-prone and salt-affected agricultural production landscapes in Central Asia and Turkey ('CACILM2')” project Mahmud Shaumarov noted that climate change accelerates soil degradation, and countering this process, as well as the development and implementation the technologies for the restoration of an important natural resource, is one of the priorities of the project, and therefore fruitful cooperation with the scientific community of Kazakhstan on these issues will be further strengthened and expanded. 

It is noteworthy that along with experienced specialists who have devoted many years to the study and practical research of soil resources in Kazakhstan, young scientists, recent graduates of specialized Universities, as well as high school students of the Almaty gymnasium also took an active part in the conference. For many years, students of the school gymnasium in Almaty are wards of the research Institute of soil science and work under the guidance of the Institute's staff.

The children presented the results of soil research conducted under the guidance of an experienced teacher and their views on the problem of preserving this most important natural resource to the adult specialists gathered at the computers.

In total, 44 people took part in the work of the Conference dedicated to World Soil Day, including scientists from the Kazakh Research Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry named after U.U. Uspanov, scientists and teachers, students, undergraduates and doctoral students of the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University, soil scientists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, as well as students of the school-gymnasium.