2015: International Year of Soils

| January 19, 2015

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José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, says, “Soils constitute the foundation of vegetation and agriculture. Forests need it to grow. We need it for food, feed, fibre, fuel and much more.”

Every farm depends on its soil. Farmers harvest, eat and sell the crops which grow in it. Cattle graze plants whilst fertilizing it.

Last year, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils, or IYS.

The objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:

  • Raise full awareness among civil society and decision-makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • Strengthen initiatives in connection with the Sustainable Development Goals process and Post-2015 agenda;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).

You can learn more about IYS through its dedicated website, where you can find news, events, resources and a communications toolkit: http://www.fao.org/soils-2015/about/en/