2017 Theme: ‘Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground’

Soil is the upper layer of earth, a mixture of organic and inorganic matter, in which plants grow.

It is a finite natural resource. On a human time-scale it is non-renewable. However, despite the essential role that soil plays in human livelihoods, there is a worldwide increase in degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure driving unsustainable intensification and inadequate governance over this essential resource.

World Soil Day 2017 activities aim to communicate messages on the importance of soil quality for food security, healthy ecosystems and human well-being.

How will you celebrate World Soil Day?

World Soil Day is celebrated annually on the 5th of December at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome, the regional offices and through national and local events.

Are you planning to have an event on soils?

Put your event on the map

You can also participate in the photo contest “When soils turn black”. Send us a photo of an extraordinary Black Soil and you could win exclusive gadgets to celebrate World Soil Day!

Spread the word on the importance of soils using our campaign materials. Download posters, banners and logos in multiple languages.

Facts & Figures

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

  • Soil holds three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and can help us meet the challenges of a changing climate
  • 815 million people are food insecure and 2 billion people are nutritionally insecure, but we can mitigate this through soil.
  • 95% of our food comes from soil
  • 33% of our global soils are already degraded