Picturing soils

#soils4life Instagram contest winners announced

As part of the International Year of Soils, FAO launched the #soils4life contest on Instagram to share photos related to soils, their potential, their functions, but also instances of exploitation or abuse to help draw attention to the myriad of issues concerning this valuable resource.

Many of you shared your photos and the 20 photos with the most likes featured on the @UNFAO Instagram account.

Find out what our winners had to say about soils

The three photos with the most likes have been announced. But what are our winners trying to convey through their photographs? What do soils mean to them? And, what are they and their friends doing to preserve soils...?

Soils: a powerful source of life


A photo posted by UNFAO (@unfao) on May 19, 2015 at 7:14am PDT


"In this photograph I am trying to express the power of nature in the face of human exploitation. Soils are the source of all life and food but they are under increasing pressure due to a fast-growing world population and struggle for natural resources and food production. At university, we are constantly learning about soil conservation methods and how to handle this delicate resource. As part of my course work, I have participated in projects to raise awareness within nearby communities about the importance of soils and the ways in which farmers can produce lots of healthy food without damaging the soil!"

Xavier Eduardo Carrera Huerta, Honduras


The importance of sustainable soil management


A photo posted by UNFAO (@unfao) on May 19, 2015 at 7:10am PDT


"This photo transmits the importance of sustainable agriculture and the role of mankind in optimizing production while protecting and preserving the soil. Soil is the basis of everything. In it, life develops and evolves. It's an important provider of raw material, especially food. Without soil we have nothing, without soil we would have never existed or evolved. I study in Zamorano, a university that creates awareness among Latin America's youth to preserve and sustainably manage the soil. I am learning new techniques so when I have the opportunity I will apply all of my acquired knowledge to avoid soil exploitation."

Jorge Stiven Chanaluisa Saltos, Honduras


Soil pollution and waste recycling


A photo posted by UNFAO (@unfao) on May 19, 2015 at 7:13am PDT


In this photo, I am drawing attention to the issue of waste recycling and soil pollution which affect many developing countries with fertile soils. Soil pollution is having an extremely negative impact on the environment, on our soils and on our food and must be tackled urgently. When my parents retired, they became farmers. The issue of soil degradation and soil pollution was always a concern for us. Over a ten-year period, we restored our land and soil so that it could provide the food to feed our family. Sustainable soil management was central to this process. Me and a friend are currently trying to find solutions to these issues in our region. I am happy that, through this competition, FAO is drawing attention to soils and the need to protect them."

Milyaev Konstantin, Russian Federation



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