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World Soil Day: FAO awards Asia-Pacific experts

Bangkok, 6 December, 2023 (GNP): The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) commends the outstanding efforts of experts for their contributions to safeguarding and enhancing soil health in Asia-Pacific region.

Acknowledging the remarkable achievements of these experts, FAO awarded them for their outstanding efforts dedicated to soil preservation in the region. While celebrating these accomplishments, FAO emphasizes the critical need for continued action to protect our planet’s soil, a vital element for human survival.

FAO outlined that the intrinsic relationship between the water and soil faces escalating threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

It also highlighted the imminent threat of soil degradation in the region that is fueled by the unsustainable practices.

As 95% of the region’s food production dependent soil, the unsustainable practices endanger both food security and livelihoods of millions. Moreover, amid increasing water scarcity impacting three-quarters of the region, urgent action is required to address the pressing issue.

World Soil Day event celebrated in Thailand

Under the esteemed presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, FAO’s Special Goodwill Ambassador in Asia-Pacific, the World Soil Day event emphasized the crucial role of soils in ensuring global food security.

The event called for immediate action to combat imminent threats to soil health and water scarcity, urging the implementation of improved water management systems across the region.

During the event FAO’s regional representative for Asia-Pacific and the Assistant Director-General Jong-Jin Kim also expressed delivered his remarks. He underscored the non-renewable nature of soil and called for sustainable practices and policies productivity and the resilience of the soil to achieve an agrifood systems transformation.

FAO awards two experts in Asia-Pacific region for elevating soil health

FAO announced two experts from the Asia-Pacific region as winners of two prestigious awards. The Glinka Prize was awarded to Laureate Professor Ravendra (Ravi) Naidu for his remarkable advancements in soil management practices, marking the Pacific region’s first-ever recognition.

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Simultaneously, the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award recognized the Soil and Fertilizer Society of Thailand for their exemplary efforts in promoting sustainable soil management practices.

Interconnected challenges: Soil and water sustainability

Critical to food production and human well-being, soil and water demand proactive preservation measures in the Asia-Pacific region.

Threats arising from unsustainable practices, urbanization, and climate change endanger soil health.

Degradation processes, including erosion and contamination, pose significant risks to food production and ecosystem functioning.

Sustainable  management: Integrated approach for soil and water

FAO emphasizes the need for adopting sustainable soil and water management practices, including efficient water use, responsible use of fertilizers and pesticides, improved irrigation methods, and heightened monitoring.

These measures aim to preserve and improve soil and water resources, aiding communities in adapting to climate change while ensuring food security.

Collective responsibility for soil and water Ppeservation

Addressing soil degradation and water scarcity necessitates collaboration across sectors and heightened awareness among stakeholders.

FAO stresses the importance of training initiatives, technology transfer, and comprehensive data analysis for improved soil and water management.

Collaboration among policymakers and stakeholders is crucial for effective implementation and increased investments.

World Soil Day calls for sustainable action

World Soil Day 2023 urges a united effort in safeguarding soil and water resources for a sustainable future.

Inspired by prestigious awards like Glinka and King Bhumibol, the Asia-Pacific region aims to set a global example in integrated soil and water management.

FAO continues its commitment beyond this day, urging continuous collective action for the health of our soils, vital for human, animal, and environmental health.