In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences proposed December 5th as World Soil Day to raise awareness on the importance of soils in the world ecosystem. In June 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations endorsed this initiative and in December 2013, December 5th was declared official World Soil Day by the 68th UN General Assembly. Since then, this important day has been celebrated around the world through various events. 2016 has been declared the International Year of Pulses and this year’s theme is ‘Soil and pulses, a symbiosis for life’. Pulses are important because of their many positive contributions to soils:
World Soil Day is a very significant day given the importance of soil in our lives. Indeed, soils enable food production, water and climate regulation, biodiversity conservation and more. As the human population becomes more urbanized, many of us are losing touch with soils and as a result, tend to forget the importance of protecting and maintaining them.
Food security being among the many issues facing Africa, World Soil Day is an important day to reassess the situation of the continent. In Africa, the mismanagement of waste that comes with the rapid urbanization of cities represents a real danger to soils, thus to water and food supply among other resources. December 5th is therefore a very important day for Dechets a l’Or because for us, it is not only a reminder of the importance of soil preservation, but it is also another confirmation of why we do what we do. Indeed, the value we aim to add to waste through our efficient collection and processing system will not only considerably reduce pollution, but it will also contribute to healthier soils through the use of our organic fertilizers.
In Guinea where we currently operate, approximately 12.6% of the land is arable and about 59% is agricultural. Given the significance of these numbers, soil preservation must be a priority for this country as well as other countries on the continent. The mismanagement of land poses various problems related to nutrition, climate change, soil-borne diseases, and human health in general. Currently, it is estimated that 33% of global soils are degraded and this number is expected to keep growing if more sustainable ways to exploit soils are not implemented. However, as awareness is being raised and more ventures like Dechets a l’Or are encouraging the use of organic fertilizers and better farming practices, the prospects for African soils seem promising.
At Dechets a l’Or, we value waste and in doing so, we are always working on better ways to handle the huge quantity of waste generated every day by populations. One way we do this is by working toward the production of organic fertilizers from collected organic waste. Promoting and facilitating the use of organic fertilizers is one way we hope to be able to contribute to World Soil Day. How about? How do you observe World Soil Day from the privacy of your home or your office?