World Soil Day, 5 December

World Soil Day celebration - Soils: Where food beings

5 December 2022 (12:20 - 13:45 CET) | Virtual format (Zoom)

Recordings are available in العربية | 中文 | English | Français  | Русский  | Español

Soils are essential for life on Earth but are threatened by multiple forms of degradation. Nutrient imbalance has been identified as one of the top ten threats to soil health worldwide, with negative environmental, social and economic effects. Humans, like plants and animals, need sufficient food to survive and 95% of the food we eat comes directly or indirectly from our soils. Hence food has to be safe and nutritious, so as to provide energy and basic nutrients and to prevent disease and the intake of harmful toxic substances.

The loss of soil fertility means that many cereals, vegetables and fruits are not as rich in vitamins and nutrients as they were 70 years ago. Currently, 2/3 of the world’s population is at risk of nutrient deficiency. When crops are harvested, nutrients are removed from the soil. These nutrients can be replaced by the addition of inorganic or organic fertilizers, but an underuse, misuse, or overuse of fertilizers increases greenhouse gas emissions, degrades soil and water resources and induces potential harm to animals and humans.

The World Soil Day 2022 (WSD) and its campaign aim to raise awareness on the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the key challenges related to soil fertility, soil health and nutrient imbalance. WSD is a unique platform that celebrates soils and engages citizens around the world to improve soil health.

During this celebration, the report on the Global Status of Black Soils and the Soil Atlas of Asia (a collaborative effort between FAO’s GSP, the Joint Research Center and the Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea) will be presented. Artistic performances and keynotes will enliven the celebration and the winners of the Glinka World Soil Prize and King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award will also be announced.


12:20 - 12:25

Welcome and introduction by moderator: Ms Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General FAO

12:25 - 12:35

High-level opening:
- Dr QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO
- H.E. Alexandra Valkenburg, Permanent Representative of the European Union to FAO and Holy See

12:35 - 12:40

An artistic performance “Soils, Where food begins”

12:40 - 13:00

- H.E. Victor Vasiliev, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to FAO
- H.E. Guang Defu, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of China to FAO
- H.E. Lee Seong-ho, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to FAO

13:00 - 13:05

Delivery of the Glinka World Soil Prize 2022 by Dr QU Dongyu, Director-General FAO and by H.E. Victor Vasiliev, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to FAO

13:05 - 13:15

Keynote presentation by the Laureate of the Glinka World Soil Prize 2022

13:15 - 13:20

Delivery of the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2022, by H.E. Ratchanok Sangpenchan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to FAO

13:20 - 13:25

Announcement of the winners of the Contest for Children on Soils, Ms Laura Bertha Reyes Sanchez, President, International Union of Soil Sciences

13:25 - 13:35

Launch of the Soil Atlas of Asia, by Mr Taek-Ryoun Kwon, Director General, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea and by Mr Arwyn Jones, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

13:35 - 13:40

Launch of the Global Status of Black Soils report, Mr Yuxin Tong, FAO

13:40 - 13:45

Conclusions and closure of the event, Mr Lifeng Li, Director, Land and Water Division