News Releases

Council Stresses Importance of Soil Health on World Soil Day

December 5, 2016:

Soil is the backbone of Canadian agriculture. It produces our food. It cleans our air and water. It sustains us. Although we have made great strides to conserve it, the threats to soil health continue to evolve. We need to keep fighting for it and treat it as the indispensable resource it is.

Today marks World Soil Day. Celebrated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and by groups such as the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC), December 5 allows us to re-connect Canadians with soil and highlight its importance to all our lives.

"World Soil Day gives the Soil Conservation Council of Canada a great opportunity to tell our soil health story to Canadians," says Paul Thoroughgood, SCCC chair. "Many do not realize how essential soil is to their everyday lives. During the recent Atlantic Soils 2016 workshop in Moncton, we saw how soil health is a complex proposition that all stakeholders on the agricultural landscape must contribute to. We all have a stake in its outcome."

The SCCC is committed to soil health and working with all stakeholders on the agricultural landscape to build and help implement best management practices to further the goal of sustainable soils for future generations. For example, at the recent Atlantic Soils 2016 meeting, discussions among 130 producers, scientists and conservation practitioners clearly reflected a strong commitment to putting relevant information and tools to work on the landscape.

"The complexity of soil is often overlooked and underappreciated," says Thoroughgood. "The soil that supports all life on Earth contains minerals, bacteria, fungi, invertebrate organisms, air, water, nutrients and decaying organic matter. Although December in Canada is a difficult time to go out and get your hands dirty, cold winter months do provide us with an opportunity to seriously think about the soil under our care and what we can do to improve our soil health. Consider attending some winter meetings to hear what experts are suggesting and other producers are doing. Think about what our lives would be like without healthy soil. It's time we stop treating soil like dirt."

The SCCC is the only national organization to concentrate on the issues of soil health and soil conservation within a broadly based landscape context. It works to build a greater understanding of the importance of soil as an essential resource to society by facilitating the exchange of information with all stakeholders. Healthy soils are the foundation of sustainable and reliable food production and enhanced biodiversity, food production, enhanced biodiversity as well as cleaner air and water for present and future generations. For more information, please visit, www.soilcc.ca.