World Soil Day, 5 December

World Soil Day Celebration | Soil and water, a source of life

5 December 2023 (12:30 - 14:00 CET) | AGENDA | RECORDINGS | PHOTO GALLERY | PRESENTATIONS |

Our planet’s survival depends on the precious link between soil and water. Over 95 percent of our food originates from these two fundamental resources. Water in soils, vital for nutrient absorption by plants, binds our ecosystems together. This symbiotic relationship is the foundation of our agricultural systems. However, in the face of climate change and human activity, our soils are being degraded, putting excessive pressure on our water resources. Erosion disrupts the natural balance, reducing water infiltration and availability for all forms of life. Sustainable soil management practices, such as minimum tillage, crop rotation, organic matter addition, and cover cropping, improve soil health, reduce erosion and pollution, and enhance water infiltration and storage. These practices also preserve soil biodiversity, improve fertility, and contribute to carbon sequestration, playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change.

The World Soil Day 2023 (WSD) and its campaign aim to raise awareness on the importance and relationship between soil and water in achieving sustainable and resilient agrifood systems. WSD is a unique global platform that not only celebrates soils but also empowers and engages citizens around the world to improve soil health.

Don't miss the official ceremony!

Together, let’s pave the way for a future where soil and water are sustainably managed to continue to be the steadfast guardians of our environment and climate.

Interpretation will be available in the FAO six official languages of FAO.

AGENDA | Sheikh Zayed Center - Virtual format (Zoom)

12:30 - 12:35

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

12:35 - 12:40

Opening by Dr QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO

12:40 - 12:55

Opening by:

  • H.E. Olga María Pérez Tuna, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Guatemala to FAO
  • H.E. Rodney M. Hunter, Chargé d’affaires of the United States Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome
  • H.E. Annette Schneegans, Deputy Permanent Representative of the European Union to the UN Organization
  • Dr. Mary Mwale, Head of Food Security and Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Kenya


12:55 – 13:00

Artistic performance “Soil and Water, a source of life”


13:00 - 13:05

Presentation of the Glinka World Soil Prize 2023 by H.E. Igor L. Golubovskiy, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to FAO

Delivery of the Glinka World Soil Prize 2023 by Dr QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO and by H.E. Igor L. Golubovskiy, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to FAO

13:05 - 13:15

Keynote presentation by the Laureate of the Glinka World Soil Prize 2023

13:15 - 13:25

Delivery of the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2023, by Ms. Kundhinee Aksornwong, Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of the Kingdom of Thailand

13:25 - 13:30

Announcement of the winners of the book contest for Children on soils and water, Ms Laura Bertha Reyes Sanchez, Past-President and liaison officer to FAO, International Union of Soil Sciences

13:30 - 13:35

Announcement of the winners of the soil and water photo contest and poster contest, Ms Isabelle Verbeke, Land and Water Officer, FAO

13:35 - 13:40

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