The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations sponsors World Soil Day every December 5 to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and the sustainable management of soil resources. Sponsored every year since 2014, this year’s theme focuses on soil pollution. Here is an excerpt from the World Soil Day Website:
“These days pollution is a worry – and soil is also affected. Soil pollution is a hidden danger that lurks beneath our feet.
“1/3 of our global soils are already degraded. Yet we risk losing more due to this hidden danger. Soil pollution can be invisible and seems far away but everyone, everywhere is affected. With a growing population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, soil pollution is a worldwide problem which degrades our soils and poisons the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. The entity of the problem is still unknown as not certain data are available on a global scale.
“Soils have a great potential to filter and buffer contaminants, degrading and attenuating the negative effects of pollutants, but this capacity is finite. Most of the pollutants originate from human activities, such as unsustainable farming practices, industrial activities and mining, untreated urban waste, and other non-environmental friendly practices. As technology evolves, scientists are able to identify previously undetected pollutants, but at the same time these technological improvements lead to new contaminants being released into the environment. In the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3, 12, and 15 have targets that commend direct consideration of soil resources, especially soil pollution and degradation in relation to food security.
“It is time to uncover this threatening reality. Combatting soil pollution requires us to join forces and turn determination into action. Be the solution to soil pollution.”
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