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2015: UN International Year of Soils

The International Year of Soils aims to raise awareness of why soils are important for food security and the ecosystem, which comprises all plants and animals in an area.

Illustration image

A handful of soil with budding flowers.


The United Nations (UN) also declared 2015 as the Year of Light and Light-based Technologies.

Disappearing Soils

Soils are made up of organic remains, clay and rock particles, found on the Earth’s surface. We need soils to produce food, give clothes and build homes. Soils also store and filter water, recycle nutrients, and create a barrier against floods.

The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited. Deforestation, bad agricultural practices and pollution can cause soil degradation and erosion. Soils are also trapped underground when cities keep growing in size and more buildings are made.

Topics: UN Year


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