The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS) and recognized 5 December, which is His Majesty the King Bhumibol’s birthday, of each year as the ‘World Soil Day’ (WSD) in recognition for HM the king’s dedicated efforts in the conversation and rehabilitation of soil conditions.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The IYS aims to be a platform for raising awareness of the importance of soils for food security and essential eco-system functions

The objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:

  • Create full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the fundamental roles of soil for human life
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development
  • Promote effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources
  • Sensitize decision-maker about the need for robust  investment in sustainable soil management activities aiming at healthy soils for different land users and population groups
  • Catalyze initiatives in connection with the Sustainable Development Goals processes and Post-2015 agenda
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels, global, regional and national

“The International Year of Soils will help us pave the road towards sustainable development for all and by all.” José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General