World Soil Day: Soil Essential to Healthy Ecosystems

December 5 is World Soil Erosion Day. 

World Soil Day was created to raise awareness about soil’s essential role in healthy ecosystems and human well-being. 

Soil erosion depletes soil health and productivity through salinity, acidification and the loss of biodiversity. The loss of soil health will decrease agricultural productivity, degrade ecosystem functions. Soil erosion also has the potential to displace human populations as it increases the risk of hydrogeological events, such as landslides or floods. It is the result of deforestation, heavy rainfall, unsustainable soil management practices in agriculture. 

Soil is important because it stores carbon and decreases GHGs in the atmosphere, helps filter water by trapping pollutants, captures and stores water for crop, and provides fibre, fuel, medicinal products and other ecosystem services. It is also home to a quarter of the earth’s biodiversity and produces 95% of our food. Soil health is essential to global food security, ensuring our food stays nutritious and resilient communities. 

For more information on soil erosion read the UN’s recent article https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/12/1052831