Happy soil day!

Today, Dec. 5th, is the international soil day. A day devoted healthy and fertile soils. The day is proposed by FAO, the food and agriculture organisation within United Nation, realising that soil is not a sustainable resource, when considering the lifespan of human beings. From this follows that if we spoil the land, then the soil will need so long time to recover, that it will not be within our lifetime.

A visible example of this is a story in the Faroese popular science magasin “Frøði” (nr. 2, 2013), where the botanist Anna Maria Fosaa writes about a study from an enclosure, that when established was quite eroded by overgrazing. After a period of 10 years the eroded areas inside the enclosure are deminished 10% compared with the area outside the fence. Hence we can expect it to take a long time before the sward is whole again.

My own, more invisible, research shows that when the sward disappears, so does the alive soil. Left are stones and sand. Stonedead!

Tight grazing and damaged sward.

Tight grzing and damaged sward.

The intention of the international soil day is to promote the importance of soil, all the services the soil delivers in terms of food, cloths, houses, protection just to mention a few. In addition a large part of the words biodiversity is to be found in the soil.

The FAO celebrates the day with an soil conference. I am going to celebrate the day by announcing the Faroese soil research society, which right now has one sole member.

UN has declared 2015 to be international soil year. I would like that we then are ready to do something big also in the Faroes.

Happy soil day 2013.