Happy New Year 2015, the International Year of Soils

Sharifa Juma digs terraces to stop soil erosion
Sharifa Juma digs terraces to stop soil erosion in Lushoto, Tanzania. Photo credit: Georgina Smith / CIAT.

Greetings and a very Happy New Year 2015! As we begin yet another new year, we say goodbye to 2014, the International Year of Family Farming, and usher in 2015, the International Year of Soils.

The 68th United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been nominated to implement the International Year of Soils within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The International Year of Soils aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

The specific objectives are to:

  • raise awareness among civil society and decision-makers about the importance of soil for human life;
  • educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • strengthen initiatives in connection with the Sustainable Development Goals process and post-2015 agenda; and
  • advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).

Visit the 2015 International Year of Soils website to find out more.