german version IYSOIL

Healthy SOIL

The United Nations declare 2015 as the year of SOIL

There is a youtube clip by the FAO - Food and Agriculture Organisation - worth seeing. Do not miss it, and please recommend it!

Here is the clip: Let's talk about soil

And here are the notes of the clip in English:

"We need it like the air we breathe. It is about time that we talk – about soil. And certainly about time that we start protecting it.
There can be no life without it. It feeds us, and we are responsible for it.
Soil is formed from rocks that are decomposed slowly by sand, the wind and the rain, by animals and plants. In this way 10 cm of fertile soil are created in 2.000 long years – only 10 cm in 2 millennia. Soil that we deplete in only a few years, gone forever.
Forests and plants protect the soil, but every year 13 million hectares of forest are cut down, fields are cultivated inadequately, added to that are monocultures and farming on slopes, half of the harvest, fields are naked and unprotected. All this accelerates the erosion – and so, gone with the wind, washed away by water.
24 billion tons of fertile soil were lost in 2011 alone. A loss of 3.4 tons per person world-wide, no matter what age. Erosion costs each person 70 $ per year, a world-wide cost that amounts to 490 billion $, an astronomical amount.
While cities are also growing rapidly. Every year in Europe, an area as large as the city of Berlin is transformed into urban area. Half of these soils are sealed. This is soil from which nothing can grow.
But fertile soil is finite and therefore invaluable. Investors and states have realized this. The race for the soils of the world has already begun. Land grabbing, often with questionable means for questionable purposes. Millions of hectares of land change owner every year. The price: ruined lives, uprooted families. Usually, these are the poorest of the poor. Often they have no choice. They destroy the forest ‘cause they need land to survive.
We need healthy and fertile soil – now more than ever. Projections say the available arable land per earth inhabitant will be reduced by half by 2050, but already today 1 billion people go to bed hungry, night after night. That’s 1 billion people too many. And this number will increase every day, if we do not distribute soil fairly. If we do not increase yields dramatically on every piece of land, or simply discover a second earth. But we might not want to rely on that.
Soil and land issues rarely get our attention – or that of our policy makers. We see the full supermarket shelves and believe that things will stay like this forever. We live on credit at the expense of soils, but they are not inexhaustible. We take out money from a bank account into which we never make any deposits. One day this account will be empty, our credit overdrawn. And our soils will be gone.
But there is good news. We have long known what we must do in order to preserve soils for our children. Let’s remember: soil is a sensitive living being who wants to be taken care of.

It is not a factory.

Everyone has a right to soil. This right must be safeguarded by the law.
And, we cannot afford to bury our livelihood under a laying of asphalt.
Now, it is up to us. We must open our eyes and find ways to apply our knowledge, so we don’t end up losing the ground under our feet."

For further information please visit
Global Soil Week 2015 and Healthy soils for a healthy life

And here you find how to contribute to the protection of fertile soil - which is, amongst others, using natural horse power in agriculture: SLOWER. SMALLER. GOOD.

Unfortunately, the book is available only in German up to now. "Langsamer. Kleiner. Gut. Mit natürlicher Pferdekraft aus der Fortschrittsfalle in der Landwirtschaft"