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2015, International Year of Soils

  •   April 20th, 2015
  •   Category: News
  •   Posted by: Ecodyger

We pollute and tread it, exploiting it and mutilating it and yet, as the most patient parents, continues to provide good-natured food, fuel, fiber and other products. Not only that: it is also essential for the survival of biodiversity and ecosystems. It is the largest reservoir of terrestrial carbon, as stores and filters the water, helping to cope with floods and droughts because of its natural ability to adapt.

To protect this unique resource from which we obtain sustenance and protection, the UN – United Nations General Assembly – has chosen 2015 to put the spotlight on the major risks run. Declared 2015 the International Year of the soil, to raise awareness about its vital importance to the health of people and the planet and understanding of many fundamental roles it covers.

The soil, in fact, is a precious resource as non-renewable, which gives us protection and sustenance. That’s why the FAO, the UN organization for food and agriculture, and the United Nations invite individual countries to promote sustainable use of the land.

There are many threats now facing the ground, among them, strange to say, traditional agriculture.

“We need to restore the ecological health of our agricultural landscapes and with it the economic and cultural stability of our rural communities – said the influential The Land Institute for http://landinstitute.org via its president Wes Jackson who adds – Our methods in the current agriculture are not sustainable and therefore our food supply is not sustainable.”

The present

Currently two-thirds of worldwide arable land are used for monocultures and annual crops contributing dramatically to impoverish the soil and reduce biodiversity. These techniques of traditional agriculture are usually accompanied by extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that alter the composition of the soil and affect its health.

The FAO points out that we live in a world where over 805 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition; population growth will require approximately a 60% increase in food production.

Since much of our food depends on the soil, it is easy to see how important it is to keep them healthy and productive. The problem is, unfortunately, a third of our land is in poor conditions and human pressures are reaching critical levels, reducing and sometimes eliminating some of their essential functions.

A unique resource at risk

It is estimated that a third of the world’s land is degraded due to erosion, compaction, sealing, salinization, acidification, pollution and other processes caused by unsustainable land management practices.

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If new approaches are not adopted, according to FAO, in 2050 the total amount of arable land and production per capita will amount to only a quarter of the level compared to 1960.

It takes up to 1,000 years to form an inch of ground, and if the latter is degraded to 33% worldwide and human pressures is growing, it is clear that we are reaching critical limits that make their good management an urgent matter .

Defining soils an “almost forgotten resource“, FAO called for increased investment in sustainable land management, saying that this would be cheaper than their recovery. “They are necessary for the achievement of food security and nutrition, adaptation and mitigation of climate change and sustainable development in general.”

Did you know that at least a quarter of the world’s biodiversity resides in the subsoil?

It is the place where, for example, the earthworm is a giant compared to tiny organisms such as bacteria and mushrooms. These, adding roots, act as primary agents for the operation of the cycle of nutrients, helping the absorption by plants, favoring at the same time the biodiversity at the surface.

Better management help these invisible organisms to improve the ability of soils to absorb carbon and mitigate desertification, so you can store more carbon, helping to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Earth mapping

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FAO has launched worldwide 120 projects regarding soil. By partnering with the UNESCO, the World Soil Map was born.

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Among the most urgent priorities is to update, standardize and make accessible the available knowledge on soil types and their distribution.

Currently, data on land are often fragmented, with limited coverage and especially obsolete.

One of the main actions of the FAO is to create a system of soil information worldwide that can help with data and reliable decisions on land management.

With the ability to balance the effects of pollution and catastrophic climate events, the soils are a vital resource and must be safeguarded. Protect soils of the World is a major challenge and crucial to the well-being of future generations.

Ecodyger allows to transform the organic waste into quality compost, that allows to give new energy to the terrain.

Give your contribution and sensitize people on the soil and its priceless value, remembering that this is its year!