December 5 - World Soil Day


Author: Adi Operta

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO UN) declared December 5 World Soil Day at a conference in Rome in 2013. The goal of marking this World Day is to raise awareness of soil and sustainable soil management for food, raw material and energy production, as well as ecosystem sustainability and adaptation to climate change. By raising awareness of the vital roles of soil, it is possible to halt negative trends to ensure soil productivity in line with the growing needs of the population. Keep the soil alive, protect soil biodiversity is the theme of this year's World Soil Day 2020, which aims to highlight the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems for the well-being of humans and all living things.

Soil damage by erosion is considered to be the leading degradation process in Europe, especially in Mediterranean countries exposed to long droughts, followed by heavy rainfall. Significant soil damage is also caused by wind erosion that blows eroded material into the environment. The resulting dust emissions are the largest source of aerosols that directly or indirectly affect the balance of the atmosphere, and thus global climate change and the environment, human health and economic activities in general. Agricultural areas having a susceptible surface layer with poorly bound particles that can be removed and transported if exposed to high-speed winds are as well sensitive to the wind erosion in case they are exposed to it.

Soil areas insufficiently covered with crops or plant remains are also endangered. Erosion and deposition processes take place over wide areas and are difficult to identify. It is important to keep in mind that soil plays a key role in sustainable development, including poverty and hunger eradication, economic growth and environmental protection. The planet is currently on a path that could lead to the degradation of more than 90 percent of all Earth’s soils by 2050, which will threaten future generations to meet even the most basic needs. It is the task of all of us to play a proactive role and reflect on the importance of healthy soils for biodiversity and our well-being. Also, let's consider the actions we can take and let's work to make the prevention and reversal of soil erosion a major global priority and part of our work to build a future in harmony with nature.

Soils in Bosnia and Herzegovina today face a number of pressures that include urbanization, contamination by agriculture and industry, soil degradation, fragmentation of low crop diversity landscapes and extreme weather conditions, which are a direct consequence of climate change. A common problem of the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in addition to the above, is soil erosion, ie thousands of registered and unregistered landslides and unregulated water regime in flood areas. The highest quality soils are being rapidly lost, and the development trend we are now setting will have direct consequences for our soils, and therefore it is necessary to advocate more strongly for sustainable and efficient soil and land management in our country. May this World Soil Day be a reminder of the effective action of all actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure a sustainable and healthier future for future generations.


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