Today is World Soil Day! But here at Ecosia, we care about soils all year round. Due to deforestation, the use of chemical fertilizers and industrial agriculture, a staggering 33% of our land worldwide is already degraded. Why does this matter?
- Soil holds three times more carbon than the atmosphere
- Soil can help to provide food for the estimated 462 million people who don’t have access to enough nutrients
- 95% of our food comes from soil
At Ecosia, we don't get tired of pointing out that soil is the foundation of everything:
- We plant trees on mountain slopes, like in Spain, to protect fertile soil from being washed off by heavy rainfalls.
- We plant diverse forests in every single project. Monocultures are very harmful for the soil (like palm oil plantations that are causing deforestation in Indonesia.
- We raise awareness through our projects in degraded landscapes, in the hope it will serve as a lesson to protect remaining gems like the Amazon Rainforest.
Your searches with Ecosia are helping us halt desertification in Spain
Soil is home to two thirds of earth’s species. Yes, you read that right. There are more creatures below the soil than there are humans walking above it. If we lose soil, we lose ecosystems that are crucial to maintaining all life on earth.
When soil becomes infertile, it can take more than 1000 years to regenerate, and restoring dry lands is no easy task. We see this in Burkina Faso, for example, where once-productive areas turned to desert. In order to re-green this desert, local communities dig seedbeds that retain the water that would otherwise run off. Europe's soils, too, are becoming drier. From Spain to Ethiopia, everywhere we’ve been, we’ve seen dried-out, yellow-reddish landscapes.
Trees are key for protecting soil from drying out and our agricultural system needs to take responsibility. As the Jane Goodall Institute, who we work with in Uganda, puts it: we can't let protecting forests be climate change's forgotten solution.
In short, we need to start treating soils better by transitioning to regenerative agriculture and by reforesting our planet. Share this article if you agree!