World Soil Day 2012

December 5th was a day dedicated to an often overlooked resource that underpins food production on the planet, soil. In One Billion Hungry, chapter 13 lays out the threats to soil and ways in which soil degradation, depletion and fertility loss can be tackled.

World Soil Day was first proposed in 2002 by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) as a means of publicly recognising the importance of soil to human wellbeing; food, water and energy security; maintaining biodiversity; and tackling climate change. Soil is commonly undervalued in policy despite widespread degradation due to unsustainable use. In one study, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), an estimated 1.9 billion hectares of soil was found to be degraded across the world. [Read more…]