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World Soil Day
By S Mukhtar
"Good Uncle - 5 December: World Soil Day."

"Yes dear."

"How the Day come?"

"In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) proposed that 5 December may be observed as World Soil Day and the United Nations General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session agreed to it."

"But why observe the Day?"

"Dear, soil - generally 45% minerals, 25% air, and 5% organic matter - is one wonder of God! It takes some 500 years to form 2 centimetres of topsoil: soil erosion, in our conventional agricultural practices, may be 100 times faster. Just a handful of fertile soil may have living interacting organisms more than the total number of human beings that have ever lived. Soil and these organisms support life above ground. Soil produces most of global food and the nutritional value thereof is directly related to the health of the soil in which it grows. Soil provides living space, provides essential ecosystem services that are important for climate regulation, water regulation and supply, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, etc. Pulses grown in it greatly help the soil - these fix the atmospheric nitrogen into it, improve its biodiversity and fertility; that is why 2016 was declared the International Year of Pulses. But, increase in population, higher demands for food, competing land uses, etc., putting tremendous stress on it, about 33% of our global soil is degraded. Dear, over 60,000 world soil scientists now busy generating and communicating soil knowledge for the common good, it was to focus on all this that the World Soil Day came to be observed."

"Uncle, that is very good! What the yearly themes but?"

"Yes, year wise. 2015: Soils, a solid ground for life; 2016: Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life (supra); 2017: Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground."

"And Uncle, activities of the Day…yes what?"

"The activities include key publications, policy dialogues, and campaign materials for free download and dissemination, and other global events. All the activities aim at globally spreading the messages on the importance of soil quality, healthy ecosystems, climate change, agriculture, food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development, that is, overall human well-being."

"Uncle, so good, so great!"

"But dear, will you celebrate the Day?"

"Great Uncle, I thought this Day is the least important of all celebrated world days. And only now I know that World Soil Day is perhaps the most important of them all. And sure I will celebrate it with all my friends!"

News Updated at : Wednesday, December 6, 2017
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