Every year on 5 December, people and organisations around the world celebrate World Soil Day to raise awareness of the importance of soil for life on Earth. This year, more than 4.000 events were organised to educate and raise awareness of as well as promote research and work on soil.
Several events were organised in the Alpine region in cooperation with members of some of the Thematic Working Bodies of the Alpine Convention. Keep reading for a brief overview of these events!
The Alpine Biodiversity Board, the Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development Working Group, and the Soil Protection Working Group organised a joint workshop on “Biodiversity and Land Use Planning” in Rome and online on 4 December. Discussions centred on the links between biodiversity, spatial planning and soil protection.
The Autonomous Region of Aosta (Italy) also held several events at schools in the region on 4 and 5 December. In addition, a hybrid webinar and several roundtables on topics such as soil ecosystem services and mountain soils were organised by the region. The series of short informative films created by Links4Soils were shown at the events.
At the World Soil Day event in Slovenia, the focus was on the devastating floods in August 2023 and how to respond to such crises. Approaches such as those in the Long-term Action Plan for Soil Protection produced by the Alpine Convention’s Soil Protection Working Group were highlighted.
Against the backdrop of the preparation of Switzerland’s country-wide soil mapping, the focus of several local World Soil Day events in Switzerland was on land take and soil mapping.
In Innsbruck, the Province of Tyrol and the University of Innsbruck organised a “soil cinema” evening including a screening of the film “Soil Saviours”, which won the Soil Award at the 2023 Innsbruck Nature Film Festival and a discussion round in which the Chair of the Soil Protection Working Group, Christian Steiner, participated.
World Soil Day 2023 was dedicated to the theme “Soil and Water, a source of life” to highlight the relationship between the two resources. Protecting healthy soils and restoring degraded soils is essential for sustaining life on Earth and contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This International Day also aims to empower and engage people around the world to implement sustainable soil management practices and improve soil health.