Monday, 5th December 2016 from 18.00 to 20.30, Sheikh Zayed Centre

Combined Event
World Soil Day 2016 and
International Year of Pulses
end of year celebration

Since 2014, the WSD celebrated on 5th December is a major platform to raise awareness at the international, regional and national levels on the essential role of soils for human life. This event will celebrate the World Soil Day 2016 as part of FAO’s efforts to promote sustainable soil management and linking the International Year of Pulses 2016 with the past International Year of Soils 2015. On this occasion, the book “Soils and pulses: symbiosis for life” will be launched as a source of scientific facts, information and technical recommendations to decision makers and practitioners on the symbiosis between soils and pulses, its importance in the sustainable development agenda and their contribution to increasing and preserving soil biodiversity.  The book ultimately explores the way in which good practices could be implemented in contribution to the effort of ending hunger and malnutrition, adapting to and mitigating climate change, halting land degradation and biodiversity loss, and achieving overall sustainable development. Linking to the book, attention will be given to the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management, which specifically refer to the practice of sustainable soil management as a means to preserve and enhance soil biodiversity.


The United Nations General Assembly at its 68th session in December 2013, designated 5 December as World Soil Day (WSD) and proclaimed 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. Fittingly, World Soil Day 2016 will bring together these two observances under the theme “Soil & Pulses: a symbiosis for life”. Healthy soils and pulses can support sustainable development and implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by ensuring food security and healthy diets, while combating and adapting to climate change and preserving biodiversity and natural resources.


18:00 - 18:10

Opening by Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General, FAO

18:10 - 18:40

Opening remarks “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life

  • H.E. Tana Weskosith
    Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the
    Kingdom of Thailand to Italy
  • HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Videomessage)
  • H.E. Murat Salim Esenli
    Permanent Representative Designate of the Republic of Turkey,
    Co-chair of the International Year of Pulses Steering Committee
  • Mr. Joseph Ngetich
    Deputy Director of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture,
    Livestock and Fisheries of Kenya
  • Prof. Rainer Horn, International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS)


18:40 - 18:45

Award of the first Glinka World Soil Prize to Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi by Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General, FAO

18:45 – 19:00

Keynote address by Dr. Juan Antonio Nieto  Escalante, Director Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi, First Laureate of the Glinka World Soil Prize

19:00 - 19:10

The IYP 2016 legacy – Riccardo del Castello, Focal Point International Year of Pulses Secretariat, Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development Division, FAO

19:10 - 19:25

Launch of the book “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life”  by H.E. Pierfrancesco Sacco, Permanent Representative of Italy to FAO and Mr. Eduardo Mansur, Director Land and Water Division, FAO

19:25 - 19:30

Closure of the event by Mr. Ren Wang, Assistant Director General, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, FAO

19:30 – 20:30

Reception by the Kingdom of Thailand (Atrium)


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Twitter hashtag:

#CL155; #IYP2016