World Soil Day

Every year, on 5th December, the day is recognised as World Soil Day. Several international institutions, including the UN-affiliated Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), commemorate this day. Stopping soil salinisation and increasing soil productivity are the goals of this year’s World Soil Day. This shows that food security is directly linked to the health of the land.

This article will provide information about World Soil Day in the context of the IAS Exam.

History of World Soil Day

  • Due to rapid industrialisation and the building of various multi-storey buildings worldwide, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) took the initiative in 2002 to offer a day to raise more awareness about soil and its effects on human life.
  • It also focused on the prevention of soil erosion and degradation.
  • The United Nations Food And Agricultural Organization had taken the leadership to initiate the day under the king of Thailand.
  • Each year there is a different theme to target a significant cause to preserve soil.
  • With the constant efforts of various organisations worldwide, World Soil Day has been gaining impressive awareness and importance worldwide.
  • The primary focus is to build a sustainable ecosystem and eradicate or at least target the root causes involved in proper soil management and soil salinisation to aid better agricultural yield in specific regions across the globe.

Threats to Soil Health

When it comes to soil degradation, the most common culprits are salinisation and acidification. Agricultural production, food security, and sustainability are all threatened by this. The idea behind World Soil Day is to recognise this growing threat and maintain healthier ecosystems around the world.

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Suggestions for conserving Soil Health

  • Hands-on experience: It’s impossible to not feel better after working in the dirt. It’s a great chance to garden every day of the week!
  • Bringing together those who share a common interest: People who care about soil conservation can meet each other on World Soil Day. It’s a great way to discover businesses, non-profits, and people doing remarkable things towards this cause. Besides, it encourages the practice of introspection and self-awareness.
  • It connects us to the land and keeps us grounded: Staying grounded forces us to take our time and focus on the important things in life.

The campaign of World Soil Day, 2021 – “Halt soil salinisation, boost soil productivity”.

What is the Sign of Unhealthy Soil?

  • The first sign of unhealthy soil is the lack of moisture, making it dry, crumble, and crack.
  • This kind of soil crumbles very quickly and is so stiff that it’s difficult to break apart.
  • The best way to care for this unhealthy soil is to water and moisturise it daily.
  • Heavy cultivation or animal grazing can also lead to deterioration of soil quality; excessive use of fertilisers can make the soil extremely unhealthy and uninhabitable for plants or any farming to happen.

As a result, while preparing for UPSC 2022, a candidate must be aware of this day and its significance.

Facts on World Soil Day

  • It’s a tradition at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to push young and old alike to take care of the soil each year.
  • Pledge cards were signed and seeds were planted as part of an environmental challenge that was shared on social media.
  • The top images are posted on FAO’s social media accounts.
  • On this day, the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award (WSDA) goes to the person or group that has devised the most creative soil day campaign or event.
  • Another annual honour is the Glinka World Soil Prize. This award is awarded to a person dedicated to alleviating the problem of soil degradation worldwide.
  • There can be many other ways to make World Soil Day a day of great celebration and activity of various kinds.

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus 2022 page.


Frequently Asked Questions on World Soil Day
What was the rationale for selecting 5th December for World Soil Day?


What was the rationale for selecting 5th December for World Soil Day?

Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on this day. He was the driving force behind such an initiative.


Why do we need to preserve soil?

In addition to ensuring a consistent food supply, protecting clean water, increasing biodiversity, and aiding in mitigating climate change, healthy soil is critical to the global ecosystem.


What was the theme of World Soil Day in 2021?

“Halt Soil Salinisation, Boost Soil Production” was FAO’s theme for World Soil Day in 2021.

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