5th of December marks the World Soil Day across the globe every year. World Soil Day is observed to bring the focus of the global population on the importance of soil. Soil is not just important to grow crops on it is far more important than that. Soil erosion is a major threat.
Soil erosion occurs when the upper layer of Earth soil due to water, wind and even tillage. Soil erosion directly affects the health and productivity of the plantations, including plants, trees, and crops. The underlying statement behind the World Soil Day is to bring ‘Stop soil erosion, save our future’ agenda to people, make them aware about the potential threats. It is very important in today’s scenario to raise awareness on how important Soil is, not just for the ecosystems but for us, Human, as well.
United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) shared some facts on Soil and Soil Erosion on the occasion of World Soil Day.
FAO said it takes a millennium (1,000 years) to produce 2-3 centimetres of soil, yes! You read it right, 1,000 years. The more alarming issue is that over 33% of Earth’s soil has already been eroded due to both, natural and manmade phenomenon.
FAO added that if things do not change soon, 90% of world’s soil could get degraded by as early as 2050. That’s just 30 years from now!!
One the soil is eroded, the land loses its ability to retain water. You may be asking how does it affect anybody? See, one the land loses its ability to retain water, the probability/chance of flooding, windstorms, and landslides increases. Additionally, the soil particles then get displaced by wind and water causing wind and water pollution.
Moreover, if there will be no soil, there can be no flora, this means, no trees, plants, flowers, vegetables, even people who think they are non-vegetarian and may be thinking we can survive on animals, bad news for you, see firstly, a small blow will be that you won’t get spices which comes from plants, tress, and crops. Secondly, brace yourself here comes a big blow, the animals will die as the entire food chain will come crashing down.
FAO said, every 5 seconds, Soil equal to one Football (Soccer) pitch gets eroded. (Take a moment, let this sink in!)
On World Soil Day we will tell you some way through which you can contribute in preventing Soil Erosion
In gardens near you, one should collectively, as a group, plant more trees, not only it will help give out more oxygen and decrease the temperature, but also help in retaining the soil in the ground. Additionally, more farmers should adopt sustainable farming practices that will help decrease the degradation of soil. Farmers can use Crop Rotation technique, or even Terrace Farming practices.
Growing trees, shrubs, plants, and some type of grass can prevent Soil Erosion caused by wind by up to 80% and also improve the water absorption capability of the land. World population needs to collectively monitor and control the level of deforestation, mining activities, and industrialisation and urbanisation along with mono-cropping and overgrazing activities.
The most important step that one can take, and everyone should take, is to educate our young generation about the importance of Soil.
Just like climate change, soil erosion is a real threat to our very existence. So, prevent soil erosion and ensure a future with food.
We wish a happy World Soil Day!