Land, Plants, and Soil


The rangers of the Mt. Kenya Trust work tirelessly to protect the area's forests and wildlife from illegal activities such as logging and poaching. Their mission is to protect this incredible ecosystem and educate local communities about the benefits of conserving the forests of Mt. Kenya. Watch this film, shot by Joan Poggio for the United Nations Environment Programme Wild for Life campaign and explore the immersive journey on forests to discover how these precious ecosystems support humans and wildlife every day.

Restoring forests helps build a healthier world for ourselves and for future generations. By replanting and managing forests sustainably, we can help preserve our planet’s biodiversity and combat climate change while fostering economic activity that creates jobs and improves lives. As we enter the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), join us in celebrating the International Day of Forests on 21 March.

Forests and mountains

Find out four things you need to know about forests and health.

Galapagos tortoise.

The Galapagos Islands, off the west coast of Ecuador, are among the most important bastions of nature on our planet. The diversity of life here--hammerhead sharks, Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises among them--prompted Charles Darwin 150 years ago to craft his theory on the origin and evolution of species. Today, we at another crossroads for nature, and indeed for all of humanity. Biodiversity continues to collapse at an alarming rate. But there is hope. UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative is working with the government of the archipelago and Quito’s San Francisco University on a crowdfunding campaign to support local communities. Anyone can send a donation

Experimental cultivation of water lily in the Senegal River delta is one of the RESSOURCE Project flagship initiatives. This engaging nature-friendly activity benefits and involves the local communities, such as rice-farmers, cooperatives of women and restaurant owners.

A man beneath a greenhouse roof holds out two handfuls of soil.

A tribute to our friends underground

FAO reminds us that food is a basic human right. However, 690 million people still suffer from chronic hunger. Our challenge is to ensure the right to food for everyone, everywhere.

Composite of images of two men.

FAO appoints the popular British gardening expert, writer and broadcaster, Monty Don, as Goodwill Ambassador to promote the International Year of Plant Health. FAO also appoints the Irish garden designer, writer, and broadcaster, Diarmuid Gavin, as Champion of the cause. The UN declared 2020 (extended into 2021 due to COVID-19) as the International Year of Plant Health to protect plant health to help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.

Four people surrounded by vegetation.

As the climate changes rapidly in many parts of the world, FAO is encouraging the adoption of more resilient and efficient production systems such as Conservation Agriculture (CA).  If the world’s small-scale farmers are to achieve food security, soils must play a key role. At its core, CA minimises soil disturbance, provides permanent soil cover and diversifies crop production This is why FAO promotes sustainable soil management through initiatives such as the Global Soil Partnership and celebrates World Soil Day, to raise awareness on the importance of soil resources.

This FAO animation gives a brief introduction on the main drivers, the key functions and challenges of soil biodiversity loss, indicating possible ways to enhance soil biodiversity as a nature-b


To take decisions, we need information – especially when we are trying to solve complex problems. Forests are home to most of the earth’s biodiversity, and they supply us with water, livelihoods and food. Reducing deforestation and managing the world’s forest resources sustainably is among the biggest challenges of our time. Just like the simple decisions we make every day, information is needed to make us aware of what is at stake and help us solve the problem. FAO provides countries with technical support and innovative tools to help them gather the data they need to monitor and protect their forests.

Monks participate in forest planting and conservation.

Improving the health of Southeast Asia’s largest lake

handful of soil shaped like a heart

When we go about our daily routines, most of us are unaware that beneath our feet lies an outstandingly diverse community of plants, animals and microbes that makes up our soils. Soils are more than just “dirt” - they’re a major reservoir of global biodiversity, supporting agriculture and food security, regulating greenhouse gas emissions and promoting plant, animal and human health. Without them our world wouldn’t be the same.

women at market

Restoring an ecosystem in Costa Rica’s Jesús María River Basin

To promote #PlantHealth among younger generations on the occasion of the International Year of Plnat Health, this video shows how plants sustain life on Earth, and what children can d