Alianza Mundial por el Suelo

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research won the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2020

4 December 2020 - The King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award was conferred to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for its commitment to raising awareness of the importance of healthy soils. Particularly during last year's World Soil Day celebration, which addressed soil erosion under the motto "Stop soil erosion, save our future".  Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, will give the award. The ceremony will take place in Bangkok in January 2021 where the Princess will officially offer the prize to ICAR, India.


ICAR is the organisation responsible for the coordination, guidance and management of agricultural research and education in India. In this capacity, ICAR oversees one of the largest networks of agricultural research and education institutes in the world, covering the whole country in the fields of horticulture, soil science, fisheries and animal sciences among others. The organisation is under the auspices of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, within the Indian Ministry of Agriculture.


In the framework of World Soil Day 2019, ICAR organised its event entitled "Soil Health Awareness Week" (1-7 December 2019) to raise awareness of soil health and the importance of maintaining crop productivity while protecting the environment. This week of celebration with more than 13 000 people, including scientists, government institutions, officials, students, farmers and the general public, participated in the social media campaign "SOIL – Our Mother Earth" on 5 December 2019.

ICAR organised interactive sessions in universities, awareness-raising activities in schools, exhibitions, screenings, field visits and training sessions throughout the week to reach out to all soil stakeholders in the country. The celebrations were widely disseminated online and were relayed at the national level by national media outlets.


ICAR placed particular emphasis on youth by raising the awareness of importance on soils for food security and climate change mitigation through quizzes, debates and on-site demonstrations. ICAR reported that many students seemed motivated to pursue soil studies as a future profession. 


Since its institutionalisation less than a decade ago, and thanks to the support of individuals and institutions such as ICAR, World Soil Day has become one of UN most influential communication campaigns, reaching hundreds of millions yearly. People all over the world are now pushing for more sustainable soil management, spreading FAO's message about the need for healthy soils for a healthy life.


The WSDA Committee recognises the Malaysian Society of Soil Science (MSSS), the Austrian Soil Science Society and the Asociación Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agrícola (AACREA) for their exceptional effort in conveying the message to stop soil erosion and save our future. The memorable celebrations organised in respective countries have made an impact in raising awareness for soil science across sectors. 


Launched in 2018, the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award acknowledges individuals or institutions that raise public awareness of soils by organising successful and influential World Soil Day celebrations. The award, sponsored by the Kingdom of Thailand, is named after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand for his lifelong commitment to raising awareness of the importance of sustainable soil management and rehabilitation for food security, poverty alleviation and more. 


Formers winners of the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award include Practical Action in Bangladesh in 2018 and the Costa Rican Soil Science Society (AACS) in 2019.

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