Soil: Earth's Living Skin
Soil is a dynamic, living resource. It hosts a quarter of our planet's biodiversity. Beyond supporting plant growth, it's a vital part of water filtration, carbon sequestration, and sustaining life.
Soil Degradation Crisis
Currently, 33% of Earth's soils are degraded, due to erosion, pollution, and deforestation. Alarmingly, we might only have 60 years of topsoil left if current rates of degradation continue.
The Soil Food Web
The soil food web is complex, involving microorganisms, fungi, plants, and animals. This intricate network is essential for nutrient cycling, soil structure, and fertility, which are critical for healthy ecosystems.
Regenerative agriculture practices, such as no-till farming, cover cropping, and crop rotation, can restore soil health. They increase organic matter, leading to improved water retention and resilience against climate change.
Soil's Carbon Storage
Soils hold three times more carbon than the atmosphere. Practices like agroforestry and organic farming can enhance this carbon sequestration, playing a significant role in mitigating climate change.
Soil Biodiversity's Role
Soil biodiversity is critical for ecosystem productivity and resilience. It helps in breaking down organic matter, detoxifying pollutants, and controlling plant diseases, contributing to sustainable agriculture.
Global Soil Partnership
The Global Soil Partnership, established by the FAO, facilitates sustainable soil management and protection. Its guidelines help nations implement policies that balance economic growth with soil conservation.