The International Year of Soils

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Photo by Fotolia/weerapat1003
Our soils sustain us, but soil health faces many risks, from erosion to pollution. The United Nations is shedding light on all things soil-related during 2015, which it has deemed the International Year of Soils.

The fate of humans is inextricably linked to the soil that sustains us — yet we often regard it more as an inert medium than a symbiotic partner that’s teeming with life. To bring more awareness to soil’s significance, the United Nations declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS). This initiative aims to convey the importance of soil for food security and ecosystems. Another objective is to promote investment in sustainable soil management activities for different land users and population groups.

Head to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations websiteto learn more about the IYS, find a listing of events related to soil health, and browse a fact-filled FAQ that’s sure to interest even the biggest soil nerds among us. We also recommend the film Dirt! for those who want to dig even deeper into this fascinating — and critical — topic.

Shelley Stonebrook is MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine’s main gardening editor. She’s passionate about growing healthy, sustainable food and taking care of our environment. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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