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World Soil Day

Montage of photos containg different types and uses of soil

December 5th
Recognising the importance of soils, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) made a resolution in 2002 proposing that 5th December be known as World Soil Day - to celebrate and recognise the importance of soil as a critical component of the global natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being.

Under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand, the 38th Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Conference in 2013 unanimously endorsed two resolutions requesting that 5th December be officially designated as World Soil Day (WSD) and 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS).

Within the framework of the "Global Soil Partnership", FAO jointly with partners have organised an official celebration of World Soil Day 2013 as a day "dedicated to healthy and productive soils” and events are planned in a number of participating countries. In Australia, Soil Science Australia (as the peak body for soil science in Australia) actively promotes World Soil Day engagement.
Icon for World Soil Day with text Global Soil Partnership

The Department of Primary Industries and Environment (DEPI) will recognise World Soil Day 2013 with a display in the foyer at 8 Nicholson Street, Melbourne that highlights the diversity and importance of Victoria's soil resource that underpins the productivity of our primary industries and provides essential ecosystem services.

DEPI is making a significant contribution to soils RD&E, with strengths in soil research and extension which will be highlighted. DEPI’s soil science expertise extends across pedology, chemistry, physics and biology and works closely with agricultural industries. These disciplines address the needs and challenges of modern soil management and information needs, including remote sensing and digital soil mapping, nutrient availability and cycling, fertiliser efficiencies, soil water availability, and physical and chemical constraints to plant growth.

Some DEPI sites will also participate in a World Soil Day cake competition that aims to 'raise the profile' of soils across the state.

"Essentially, all life depends upon the soil....There can be no life without the soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together." --- Charles E. Kellogg, USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1938
Hands holding soil
Soil exposed with sky

"Be it deep or shallow, red or black, sand or clay, the soil is the link between the rock core of the earth and the living things on its surface. It is the foothold for the plants we grow. Therein lies the main reason for our interest in soils." --- Roy W. Simonson, USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1957.

"Each soil has its own history. Like a river, a mountain, a forest, or any natural thing, its present condition is due to the influences of many things and events of the past." --- Charles Kellogg, The Soils That Support Us, 1956.
Hands holding soil
Red soil

"Soils are developed; they are not merely an accumulation of debris resulting from decay of rock and organic materials ... In other words, a soil is an entity - an object in nature which has characteristics that distinguish it from all other objects in nature." --- C.E Millar and L.M Turk 1943.

"The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Soil degredation shown in a landscape
Related Links

A YouTube video produced by the Global Soil Partnership promoting the creation of a UN World Soil Day and the adoption of 2015 as the International Year of Soils.

'Like' World Soil Day on Facebook.
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