In December 2013, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated 5 December as World Soil Day (WSD) and at the same time declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS). Both WSD and the IYS are essential platforms to raise awareness at international, regional and national levels about the fundamental role of soils for human life.
For the official closure of the International Year of Soils, and to celebrate the World Soil Day, a number of events are taking place in the beginning of December, all over Europe:
- December 3rd 2015: Paris: Under the patronage of MEDDE and MAAF, the event “Les sols et le climat” (The soils and the climate),
- December 4th 2015: Rome, FAO Headquarters: Celebration of the World Soil Day 2015 with closure event “Soils: a solid ground for life”,
- December 4th 2015: Brussels: European Commission, Brussels Capital, Flanders and Wallonia regions organize the event “Healthy soil for a healthy life”,
- December 4th 2015: Torino: IPLA, “Suolo, impatto antropico e sostenibilità ambientale” (Soil, human impact and environmental sustainability),
- December 5th 2015: Rome: Soil day: “La vita sotto i nostri piedi” (Life beneath our feet),
- December 7th 2015: Vienna: FAO, IAEA and International Union of Soil Sciences celebrate the International Year of Soils 2015: “Achievements and Future Challenges”.
Source: European Soil Data Centre ESDAC
Today, ISRIC finished their report 'Measures for Preventing, Mitigating and Remediating Soil Threats in Europe - a Literature Review'. This comprehensive review, compiled by Zhanguo Bai and collegues of ISRIC, describes an extensive literature survey of measures for preventing, mitigating and remediating soil threats in Europe and the wider world that has been conducted using a wide range of data sources and personal communications with all RECARE project partners. The review focuses on actual measures being applied to prevent, mitigate or remediate the soil threats as specified by RECARE. The existing measures are illustrated per RECARE soil threat.
Whereas measures for control of erosion by water and wind, desertification, and contamination can easily be found, much less information is available for arresting decline in organic matter in peat and mineral soils, flooding, landslides, soil sealing, or loss of soil biodiversity.
The amount of information available at the global scale is overwhelming, and not all of the information retrieved could be included. We have included what we believe to be accurate. Nevertheless, it is by no means an exhaustive document and no guarantee is provided about the content.
The report can be downloaded from the download section.
Conference 'Healthy Soils for Feeding the Planet and for Climate Change Adaptation' Expo Milan, 20 October 2015
To mark the International Year of Soils 2015 the Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission organises a conference on 'Healthy Soils for Feeding the Planet and for Climate Change Adaptation' at the Universal Exposition EXPO2015 in Milan (Italy) on 20 October 2015, 10:30 - 16:30hrs.
This event aims at raising awareness on the importance of healthy soils for a healthy life and to address European and global challenges. At European level, in the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 the EU committed to address soil degradation, including by identifying threats to soil.
The conference is strongly embedded into the Expo's theme 'Feeding the planet, Energy for Life' and consists of two sessions: the first session addresses the crucial role of soil in climate change adaptation, also in the context of Climate Change negotiations (UNFCCC COP 21) in Paris in autumn of this year; the second session focuses specifically on the links between healthy soil and food security and agriculture.
To attend this conference please access the registration page . Since the number of seats is limited, access to the event is by invitation only and previous mandatory registration. You will receive a confirmation by e-mail. Upon request, a limited number of EXPO entrance tickets valid for 20 October is available to attend the conference. They will be given to registered participants, ensuring a broad stakeholder representation, on a first-come-first-served basis.
Conference programme (updated regularly)
The video trailer about the RECARE project is selected by the organisers of the conference and will be screened during the program on October 20th in the conference room in EU Pavilion, at 13:30.