FAO to celebrate World Soil Day on Dec 4, to focus on soil biodiversity

FAO to celebrate World Soil Day on Dec 4, to focus on soil biodiversity
Virtual World Soil Day celebration will focus on the importance of soils’ diversity for agri-food systems

Focussing on soil biodiversity, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will celebrate World Soil Day on Friday, December 4, 2020, 13:00 – 14:30 (Rome time). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the observance of the World Soil Day will be celebrated virtually.

Soils are essential to life on earth. Their protection is of the utmost importance to ensure the future of agri-food systems and the provision of key ecosystem services. While there is increasing attention to the importance of biodiversity for food security and nutrition, especially above-ground biodiversity such as plants and animals, less attention is being paid to the biodiversity beneath our feet, soil biodiversity.

This year’s World Soil Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of the diversity of soil organisms for most terrestrial ecosystem services, including food production, water storage and purification, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration and source of medicines.

The observance will highlight how soil biodiversity can provide a truly natural solution to many of the problems humanity faces today, from the field to the global scale, as well as efforts to conserve and protect it.

During this celebration, FAO will launch the first ever report on the “State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity” covering its current status, challenges and potentialities. The Glinka World Soil Prize and the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award will also be awarded.

The event will bring together government officials, international organisations and a wide array of experts on soil biodiversity. Discussions will be moderated by award-winning Thomson Reuters Foundation correspondent, Thin Lei Win.

Key Speakers (expected)
QU Dongyu: Director-General, FAO
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema: Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Biodiversity
Victor Vasiliev: Permanent Representative of Russian Federation to FAO, will deliver the Glinka World Soil Prize 2020
Thanawat Tiensin: Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to FAO, will deliver the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2020
Laura Bertha: President of the International Union of Soil Science, will announce the winners of the Booklet on soil biodiversity for children
Rosa Cuevas Corona: FAO-Global Soil Partnership, will present the key findings of the State of Soil Biodiversity Report
Kostantin Viatkin: FAO- Global Soil Partnership, will launch the Armenian Soil Information System

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