World Soil Day 2023

    World Soil Day 2023 emphasises the importance of soil and water, vital resources for our Planet. Find out why it is vital to preserve them for biodiversity and how 3Bee is committed to do it on World Soil Day.
    World Soil Day 2023

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    World Soil Day: the history

    World Soil Day, also known as World Soil Day, was unanimously endorsed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Conference in 2013, calling for its official adoption during the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York. In 2014, the same Assembly designated 5 December as the official date of World Soil Day, which is celebrated every year with the aim of raising global awareness of the crucial role of soil and its sustainable management. The theme of World Soil Day changes every year and emphasises the importance of this precious natural resource, which is crucial for a number of the Earth's vital functions including food production, climate regulation and the preservation of biodiversity. Terrestrial soil is also the reservoir of about a quarter of global biodiversity and therefore deserves the same attention as surface biodiversity.

    World Soil Day 2023: Soil and Water, Resources for Life

    The theme for World Soil Day 2023 is 'Soil and Water, Resources for Life'. Soil and water are the basis of food production, ecosystems and human well-being. The relationship between soil and water is crucial for achieving sustainable and resilient agri-food systems: soil health and water quality and availability are in fact strongly interlinked. Among the key messages of this year's World Soil and Water Day, it is important to emphasise that better soil and water management improves the ability of the land to withstand extreme weather events such as droughts, storms and floods, which have affected several regions of our country in recent times. In addition, healthy soil acts as a carbon sink, capturing it from the atmosphere and thus contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

    Agenda 2030 and Goal 15: Reverse soil degradation

    Soil is home to 25 per cent of the world's biodiversity and plays a crucial role as a habitat and genetic heritage. On the occasion of the publication of the UN report 'The State of Knowledge on Soil Biodiversity', the FAO said that protecting biodiversity is one of the most urgent actions we need to take today, but when we look specifically at soil biodiversity, we are in a declining situation due to several factors, including over-exploitation, urbanisation and climate change. Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda also aims to reverse soil degradation and halt biodiversity loss, specifically 'by 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded lands, including those affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive for a world free of soil degradation'.

    The benefits of nectariferous plants for the soil

    Nectariferous trees bring with them a number of benefits for the soil, mainly related to their roots. In terms of fertility, tree roots help improve the fertility of soils, especially those where there has been intensive agriculture in the past, through a mechanism of continuous 'release' of chemical and organic substances. The roots also help stabilise the soil, reducing the risk of soil erosion due to rainfall or wind. Importantly, trees contribute to soil stabilisation and to maintaining a balanced water balance in the soil, especially if planted strategically. Finally, the presence of nectariferous trees can promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, contributing to better soil health.

    3Bee's commitment to World Soil Day

    3Bee has created and monitors Europe's largest ecological corridor: urban and agroforestry biodiversity oases. These places are refuges for pollinators and plant biodiversity recreated in areas of low biodiversity. Physical and digital places where technology and nature come together, with the aim of regenerating biodiversity and taking a first step towards climate resilience. The nectariferous trees that make up 3Bee's Biodiversity Oases are forest species, an important feature to promote natural habitat restoration, as forest plants are more resilient and improve soil structure. On World Soil Day, it is crucial to recognise that every action taken to protect and regenerate soil contributes to the preservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change, but also to building a resilient and sustainable future for future generations.

    By Elena FraccaroNovember 24, 2023
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