Secretary-General's Message for 2015

Sustainable soil management is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – many of which reflect the centrality of soils to sustain life, food, and water.

We need to ensure the sustainable use of our terrestrial ecosystems while we combat climate change and its impacts.  The carbon sequestration capacity of soils is an essential contribution to mitigating climate change.

The challenge before us is clear.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 33 per cent of global soils are already degraded. This trend must be reversed through sustainable soil management practices.

Soils are the foundation of food systems. They are critical for achieving food security and nutrition. Only healthy soils will produce healthy food with the best nutritional value possible. They also aid the production of pharmaceuticals and genetic resources – and contribute to water storage and purification.

Let us promote sustainable soil management rooted in proper soil governance and sound investments.  Together, we can promote the cause of soils, a truly solid ground for life.

Ban Ki-moon