The Importance of Soil
Soil is the most complex and diverse ecosystem in the world. In addition to providing humanity with 98.8% of its food, soil provides a broad range of other services, from carbon storage, greenhouse gas regulation, water filtration, to flood mitigation. But soil is a finite resource, and rapid human population growth coupled with increasing consumption is placing pressure on soil through the intensification of agricultural production.
The current intensification of agricultural practices is already resulting in the unsustainable degradation of soils. Major forms of this degradation include the loss of organic matter and the release of greenhouse gases, the over-application of fertilizers, erosion, contamination, acidification, salinization, and loss of genetic diversity. This ongoing soil degradation is decreasing the long-term ability of soil to provide humans with services, including future food production, and is causing environmental harm.
A healthy soil is fundamental to our survival.
It is essential that we understand these links and the consequences of biodiversity loss for the various global challenges we currently face, including food insecurity and malnutrition, climate change, poverty, and diseases.
There is increasing attention on the importance of biodiversity for food security and nutrition, especially above-ground biodiversity such as plants and animals. However, less attention is being paid to the biodiversity beneath our feet, soil biodiversity. Yet, the rich diversity of soil organisms drives many processes that produce food, regenerate soil, or purify water.
Soils are a key reservoir of global biodiversity, which ranges from microorganisms to flora and fauna. Much more than a factory for plant production, soil is an extremely biodiverse entity, the place of endless reactions that control a host of services of use to humanity and to the natural environment.
It is necessary to maintain soil biodiversity to safeguard these functions.
Therefore, efforts to conserve and protect biodiversity should include the vast array of soil organisms of our planet!
Keep it organic and SAVE THE SOIL!