A Soil Framework Directive had been pending for eight years during which time no effective action has resulted. EU publications outline a policy of protecting natural resources and to promote sustainable use of soils, but this ‘shallow’ policy has done very little to protect soils.
The outcome document ‘The Future We Want’ of the United Nations Conference on
Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (Rio+20) underlines the
economic and social significance of good land management, including soil management,
particularly its contribution to economic growth, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and food
security, eradicating poverty, the empowerment of women, addressing climate change and
improving water availability. It goes on to recognise the need for urgent action to reverse
land degradation and to achieve a land-degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable
On 20 December 2013 the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to proclaim
5 December as World Soil Day and 2015 as the International Year of Soils 12. The General
Assembly recognised that ‘the sustainability of soils is key to addressing the pressures of a
growing population’ in terms of food security and stable and sustainably used ecosystems.
Our logo at Cloncannon Biofarm (the 3 leafed clover) seeks to outlines how we strive to enhance the protection of soil and other habitats. The leaf denoting health refers to the fact that if we have healthy soils, we will
have healthy plants, animals and humans. The second leaf ‘Nature’ emphasises the huge benefits
we receive from nature and also the importance of learning from nature and working with it in food
production. The third leaf ‘Future’ highlights the need to take the longer term view and consider
the welfare of generations to come.
We incorporate these themes into the programmes delivered to Primary, Secondary
Schools students, Scouts, Community Groups and visiting Tourists.
To mark 2015 as World Soil Year we will feature several articles on soil during the year. The subjects will vary from soil formation, the soil web of life, cation exchange capacity, fertility management, soil structure, to composting and feeding the soil.