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International Year of Soils 2015

On 20th December 2013, “the 68th United Nations General Assembly has designated 5th of December as World Soil Day, and declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils”. This has been recently announced by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which has initiated this event together with soil activists world-wide. “Healthy soils for a healthy life” is the theme that was chosen for raising awareness about the important role that soils play for food security, the groundwater balance and biodiversity. Sustainable soil management is the basis for food systems, fuel and fibre production, essential ecosystem functions and better adaptation to climate change for present and future generations. The actions will aim to recognise the critical role of soil as a finite limited natural resource, essential for food security and for vital ecosystem functions.
EuroGeoSurveys – as a member of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) – supports soil scientists with geoscientific knowledge and data. Parent material is one of the most important factors of soil formation. In many parts of the world, geological mapping data is the only spatially explicit data source for the below ground environment, which is an important aid to soil mapping. The Global Soil Partnership will expose the role and use-potential involved with national and European-wide geological survey projects related to soil (e.g. European geochemical surveys – GEMAS, FOREGS, Baltic Soil Survey, etc.), and will aim to enhance available information on soil for policy makers, researchers and society at large. With regard to the International Year of Soils 2015, many EGS members are active through national programmes, while contributing significantly to soil information development and interpretation.

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