Wednesday (5th December) marked World Soil Day, a celebration of one of the Earth's most valuable assets. However, the day is also an opportunity to highlight soil's importance and the threat it is under from unsustainable use.
As soil takes thousands of years to form, it is regarded as a non-renewable resource; however, soils are under threat around the world. Across the world, soil erosion, sealing and degradation are having massive impacts. In the UK alone, the last major study of soil, conducted in 2009, showed 2 million tonnes of topsoil in Britain is being eroded every year.
One major problem in Europe is soil sealing – the covering of land with an impermeable material. EU figures show that over 1,000 km⊃2; of land per year, or an area the size of Cyprus every ten years, is lost to soil sealing in the bloc. The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), a groundbreaking report into agriculture, conducted by over 400 scientists from across the world concluded that 1.9 billion hectares of soil is degraded worldwide.
Via David Rowing