Soil is more than just dirt—the state of our soils impacts everything from human health to climate change. Today, scientists, research organizations, and individuals across the globe are celebrating World Soil Day to recognize how healthy soils are vital for the future of the food system and a sustainable planet.
“Land and soils constitute the foundation for sustainable agricultural development, essential ecosystem functions, and food security,” according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “They are key to sustaining life on Earth.”
And many of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals reflect this sentiment: soil health is key to environmental and human health.
According to the FAO, the world’s topsoil could be completely eroded within the next 60 years if current soil degradation rates continue. And in 2017, U.N. officials called for stronger management of the planet’s soils as a critical natural resource that could “make or break” climate change response efforts.
“When it comes to combating climate change, we are also confronting a dual threat that a focus on soil health will solve for us,” says Dr. Kristine Nichols, Former Chief Scientist at the Rodale Institute. Read more