10+1 Programmes and initiatives to raise awareness and educate citizens on soils and the importance of soil conservation
World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soils and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.
Originally, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) recommended the idea of an international day to celebrate soil in 2002. Within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness-raising platform. Finally, the UN General Assembly designated 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day.
This year, World Soil Day is held along the campaign "Soils: Where food begins" with the aim to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.
The EU Soil Strategy for 2030 acknowledges that soil is probably the most undervalued element of nature as increasingly urbanised populations often see it just as ‘dirt’ and as an unlimited natural resource. Citizens are often unaware of soils’ relevance in their daily lives and of their key role in the sustainable and circular bioeconomy. This reflects a lack of emphasis in education on the importance of soil and highlights the need to increase public awareness and societal engagement. As the Strategy emphasises, “Soil literacy combines broad awareness with specialised understanding across a range of disciplines through communication and educational activities that bring soil closer to people’s lives”. To achieve this, all stakeholders must have access to both general education on soil and targeted training for specialist needs.
In order to support this urgent need for increasing soil literacy among citizens, CEEweb has collected 10+1 relevant programmes and initiatives that aim to raise awareness, share knowledge and educate on soils and why soil conservation and the sustainable management of soils are so important.
You can find the document here.
We wish all our readers a happy World Soil Day!