“Is 2015 The Year Soil Becomes Climate Change’s Hottest Topic?”
Last week, 650 people from 80 countries gathered in Germany for a week-long discussion about an increasingly important topic in climate change: soil. Dubbed Global Soil Week by the Global Soil Forum — an international body dedicated to achieving responsible land use and soil management — the conference brought together scientists and environmental advocates from all over the world who hoped to translate scientific research about soil into tangible policies for its management.
2015 is shaping up to be a big year for soil — in addition to being Global Soil Week’s third year running, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has declared it the International Year of Soil. José Graziano da Silva, director of the FAO, has called soil a “nearly forgotten resource,” and has implemented more than 120 soil-related projects around the world to mark the International Year of Soil. Farming First, a global agriculture coalition with more than 150 support organizations, has also called for soil health to be a top priority in the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals.
Soils — and the microbes that live within them — store three times as much carbon as is in the atmosphere, and four and a half times as much as in all plants and animals.