Global Soil Partnership

Djibouti: a week-long celebration to honour World Soil Day

World Soil Day - 5 December - has become an important annual appointment worldwide and one of the most celebrated days of the United Nations. This year, Djibouti did not miss the opportunity to celebrate this important natural resource and organized, through the Institute of Life Sciences of the Centre d'Étude et de Recherche de Djibouti (CERD), a week-long celebration from 11 to 14 December 2022 in Djibouti City. 

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The event was co-organized by the FAO Country Office (FAO-DJ), with the support of the Subregional Office for Eastern Africa (FAO-SFE), FAO's Global Soil Partnership, the Regional Office for Africa (FAO-RAF), and the French Institute of Research for Development (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, IRD).

This one-week programme - the largest soil event ever held in the country - was attended by government officials, researchers, members of FAO's national and regional offices, students, farmers, laboratory technicians and non-governmental organisations. A scientific conference on the theme of World Soil Day, "Soil for Nutrition", was organised and a new soil laboratory was also inaugurated.

Alongside the celebration of World Soil Day, training on sustainable soil management was held and new soil laboratory procedures were introduced. More than 30 farmers from all regions of the country were trained in sustainable soil management practices to address the main local threats to soils, namely salt accumulation and carbon and nutrient loss.

This training was also the occasion to introduce the Global Soil Doctors programme of FAO’s Global Soil Partnership to farmers and government representatives and thus facilitate the implementation and scaling up of the programme at country level. In addition, some 30 laboratory technicians were trained in health and safety in soil laboratories, quality control and calibration. This training was delivered by Ms Lesego Mooketsi-Selepe, Dr Hanane Aroui, and Dr Elh Moudi Abdourahaman on behalf of the African Soil Laboratory Network (AFRILAB). In addition, 20 students from the Faculty of Science at the University of Djibouti were trained in soil physical analysis.

To close the World Soil Day celebrations, a scientific conference was held on 14 December to discuss the main threats to Djibouti’s soils and to gather expert opinions on potential strategies for a sustainable management of soil resources in the country. The conference was opened by FAO Representative ad-interim Dr Ricarda Mondry, the Director of CERD, Dr Jalludin Mohamed, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Ibrahim Elmi, and by the Minister of Higher Education and Research, His Excellency Dr Nabil Mohamed Ahmed. A number of technical interventions by representatives of FAO (Mr Filippo Benedetti from the Global Soil Partnership and Dr Solomon Gelalcha from FAO-SFE), AFRILAB, and CERD (Dr Abdourahman Daher and Dr Sougueh Cheik) rounded out the event’s agenda. 

VIDEO: key moment  |  TV programme