We have been celebrating World Soil Day on 5 December since 2002. It was established by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS). Since 2012, the celebrations have been organized by FAO ( Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), while in 2013 a resolution establishing the World Soil Day was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The purpose of the celebration of the Soil Day is to draw attention to its functions in the environment and the role it plays in shaping the quality of life in the face of an ever-growing population. It should be kept in mind that there are threats regarding soil functions, which are mainly related to human activity (sterilization, over-fertilization, drainage, pollution, erosion), as well as the dynamics of natural factors (climate change).
Soil is the main component of the terrestrial ecosystem. It is a non-renewable resource, an essential element of the environment limiting decline of biodiversity and climate changes. It plays a key role in the hydrological cycle, purification of the environment, as well as the flow of energy and the circulation of matter in the ecosystem. It is highly important for humans and other living organisms. Its primary function is to provide food, biomass and natural resources.
Over 90 percent food comes from the soil or is produced from crops grown in and on the soil. The quantity and quality of food depend on the acreage and condition of soil. It creates conditions for developing plants and acts as a regulator of water management in the environment. It is also essential in regulating the climate, reducing pollution and purifying water. The soil regulates the flow and stores the water (retention) that contains the dissolved salts necessary for the plants. Soil water also supplies groundwater resources. It is a filter that protects the quality of the water. The greater the sorption capacity of the soil, the better it filters and retains toxic substances.
In 2020, the motto of World Soil Day is "Keep the soil alive, protect soil biodiversity”.