International Year of Soils

Do You know year 2015 Is UNITED NATIONS – INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SOILS

2015 International Soil The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS) (A/RES/68/232).The International Year of Soils aims to raise awareness of why soils are important for food security and the ecosystem, which comprises all plants and animals in an area.

Soils are a finite natural resource and are non-renewable on a human time scale. Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fibre production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions. The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited and increasingly subject to degradation, poor management and loss to urbanization. Increased awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil is called for if this trend is to be reversed and so enable the levels of food production necessary to meet the demands of population levels predicted for 2050.Soils preservation and sustainable land management have become essential for reversing the trend of soil degradation and ensuring food security and a sustainable future. Individuals, organizations, industries, governments, scientists, religious institutions, artists, etc…All should contribute to save our soil, then our ecosystems and Earth as a whole.

The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited and increasingly subject to degradation, poor management and loss to urbanization. Increased awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil is called for if this trend is to be reversed and so enable the levels of food production necessary to meet the demands of population levels predicted for 2050.Soils preservation and sustainable land management have become essential for reversing the trend of soil degradation and ensuring food security and a sustainable future. Individuals, organizations, industries, governments, scientists, religious institutions, artists, etc…All should contribute to save our soil, then our ecosystems and Earth as a whole.

Disappearing Soils

Soils are made up of organic remains, clay and rock particles, found on the Earth’s surface. We need soils to produce food, give clothes and build homes. Soils also store and filter water, recycle nutrients, and create a barrier against floods.The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited. Deforestation, bad agricultural practices and pollution can cause soil degradation and erosion. Soils are also trapped underground when cities keep growing in size and more buildings are made.Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment.Conventional agriculture plays a significant role in meetingthe food demands of a growing human population,which has also led to an increasing dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Chemical fertilizers areindustrially manipulated, substances composed of knownquantities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, andtheir exploitation causes air and ground water pollutionby eutrophication of water bodies. In this regard, recentefforts have been channelized more towards the productionof ‘nutrient rich high quality food’ to ensure bio-safety by using biological products for farming. The innovative view offarm production attracts the growing demand of biological based organic fertilizers, microbial products exclusive of alternative toagro-chemicals. In agriculture, encourage alternatemeans of soil fertilization relies on organic inputs to improvenutrient supply and conserve the field management The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. Biofertilizers are known to play a number of vital roles in soil fertility, crop productivity and production in agriculture as they are eco-friendly and cannot at any cost replace chemical fertilizers that are indispensable for getting maximum crop yields.

Biofertilizers (chemical free products for farming) function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity. Soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused aserious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The knowledge gained fromthe literature will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

Organic farming is one of such strategies that not onlyensures food safety but also adds to the biodiversity of soil. The additional advantages of biofertilizers include longershelf life causing no adverse effects to ecosystem.Organic farming is mostly dependent on the naturalmicroflora of the soil which constitutes all kinds of usefulbacteria and fungi including the arbuscular mycorrhizafungi (AMF) called plant growth promoting rhizobacteria(PGPR). Biofertilizers keep the soil environment rich in allkinds of micro- and macro-nutrients via nitrogen fixation,phosphate and potassium solubilisation or mineralization,release of plant growth regulating substances, productionof antibiotics and biodegradation of organic matter in the soil. When biofertilizers are applied as seed orsoil inoculants, they multiply and participate in nutrientcycling and benefit crop productivity. In general,60% to 90% of the total applied fertilizer is lost and theremaining 10% to 40% is taken up by plants. In this regard,microbial inoculants have paramount significancein integrated nutrient management systems to sustainagricultural productivity and healthy environment.

Where Food BeginsThe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

The specific 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 SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).

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