Giornata Mondiale del Suolo, 5 Dicembre

Children's booklet contest on salt-affected soils

In the framework of World Soil Day (WSD) 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) are launching a scientific children's booklet contest on salt-affected soils with the motto "Halt soil salinization, Boost soil productivity". 

About the contest

This contest aims to provide an opportunity for participants to:

  1. promote scientific knowledge by giving visibility to the on-site and off-site impacts of salinization and sodification.
  2. raise awareness for the urgency of fighting salinization and sodification processes.
  3. stimulate educational activities, engagement and participation of children and schools in soil science.

The contest is aimed at anyone who is interested in soil and salinity and sodicity issues. This can include soil scientists, researchers, professors, teachers, classrooms, individual students, soil practitioners, designers, photographers or experts from any professional background, and NGOs.

How to take part

Submit your freestyle booklet proposal for children based on the WSD 2021 motto: "Halt soil salinization, Boost soil productivity". The booklet is intended for children between 6 and 11 years old and should illustrate the impacts of salinization and sodification on soils describing its consequences on the livelihood and welfare of the affected populations and ecosystems. In particular, participants should show how these processes impact food production, but also try to include possible solutions to this soil threat and/or information on sustainable management of salt-affected soils. 


  • The artworks will only be accepted in English, and can be in color or black and white and in free genre literature. The authors should address the topic in an interdisciplinary way. 
  • All booklets must include the motto "Halt soil salinization, Boost soil productivity”.
  • Booklets must be submitted in PDF format with images in high resolution (min 600 dpi).
  • Booklets should be between 12 and 16 pages, including: (1) Cover indicating the title; (2) Introduction and Content (freestyle); (3) Back cover.
  • It is suggested to work on A paper format (A4 – portrait), use visuals* and do not exceed 2 000 – 2 500 words in text length* for the entire booklet.
  • Each author and/or group of authors can only submit one entry**. 
*Participants should develop short scientific texts, facts (with scientific references) and images/designed illustrations/hand drawings to illustrate scientific knowledge on salt-affected soils for a young audience. 
**To guarantee anonymity during the evaluation process, interested parties should not put their name or that of their institution on the booklet. A registration number will be assigned to the authors upon reception.


The IUSS and FAO’s GSP Selection Committee will evaluate all booklet submissions, and the final decision will be announced by the IUSS President and the FAO’s GSP Secretary on the IUSS and FAO websites. The finalists will be chosen based on creativity and originality, quality of the informational content, technical and scientific proficiency, and artistic/visual impact of the booklet. 

Submission and deadline

Submissions should be sent by 22 November 2021 through any free file transfer service/platform (i.e. Google drive, Share drive, WeTransfer, Dropbox) to [email protected] and include the mandatory Registration form - accessible through Google forms. 

For any issues to access the Google form, please download it here and send it to [email protected].

Download the concept note***

***All participants are encouraged to learn more about World Soil Day and to consult the GSP publications regarding salt-affected soils.


The winner will receive a cash prize of 1 000 USD, second and third prize will receive a cash prize of 500 USD and 250 USD, respectively, from IUSS and FAO’s GSP. Shortlisted participants will receive publications on soils, a certificate of participation, a mention on the websites ( and, and soil gadgets. The best scientific booklets will be showcased on IUSS and FAO’s GSP digital and social media platforms. The winners will be announced on World Soil Day, 5th December 2021.

General Rules, Copyright and Privacy

  • Copyright of materials submitted remains with the respective participants, and copyright owners will be credited accordingly. 
  • Minors must have the permission of their parents or legal guardians to participate in the contest.
  • By submitting your entry, you consent to the drawing being uploaded on digital platforms, and distributed via social media channels.
  • The GSP does not accept responsibility for, or endorse the views of the contestants.

Read the full text