Source: youtube, uploaded by FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Yes, “Soils A Solid Ground For Life”.  This is the theme of 2015 World Soil Day which is observed around the world.  This happens every December 5.  The United Nations has calendared this event annually after it was started in Thailand to commemorate the birthday of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej who was born on December 5, 1927 at Mount Auburn Hospital at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The event in Thailand was soon observed all over the world because of its significance and importance in sustainable development globally.

Under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Soil Day, gives emphasis, focus and importance on the conservation of the soil and all natural resources that play an important role in the conservation of the world’s soil.

Source: FAO Website.

According to the website of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History under the heading Forces of Change, there are several factors that influence the formation of soil.  These are listed here under the acronym called ClORPT or Climate, Organisms, Relief, Parent Material and Time.


According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History under its topic Forces of Change, the following are the Five (5) ideas to help us better understand Soil and how to conserve it to attain a sustainable development.  Sustainability is defined by the International Institute For Sustainable Development (this link:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:

  • the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”

Going back to the topic, World Soil Day, let us have a snippet on the five (5) ideas about the Soil as presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Here they are:

1. Soil Makes Life.

Plants grow in and from soils, and plants—directly or indirectly—feed almost all life on Earth.

Life Makes Soils

Soil-dwellers such as bacteria and fungi recycle once-living organisms into nutrients and soil organic matter (humus)—vital components of all soils.

Without soils, life would not exist as we know it.

Farm soil
A teaspoon of good farm soil contains up to 1 billion bacteria in more than 4,000 species.
© L. Clarke/Corbis
 Soils Breathe

From burrowers to bacteria, the organisms that live in soils respire. Most of them take in oxygen to do their work, and they give off carbon dioxide, just as humans do.

Soils breathe because they shelter and support living organisms.

Soil or Dirt?

Soils are more than dirt. Dirt is a mixture of minerals, air, water, and living and dead things. The possibilities are almost endless—bugs, bacteria, fungi, feces, nematodes, worms, roots, rotting plants, ice, minerals…

Soils have history! Their unique, colorful and exotic layers give us clues to how they have changed over time.

Soils are more than the sum of their parts.

2.  The Skin of the Earth

Over most of the Earth’s land lies a thin layer of soil—a complex and variable mixture of minerals, air, water, decaying remains of life, and countless living organisms.

The Earth’s “skin” is not one soil, but many soils—each with its own story. Tens of thousands of different soils cover the continents.

Soils are alive.

They are born, they age, they breathe.

Soils are constantly created and lost. Soils are everywhere in our everyday lives. Living soils sustain life on Earth.

Girl with a handful of soil
Photo courtesy Somos/Veer/Getty Images

3. Soil Ingredients

Air, water, minerals, and organic matter (living and non-living) are the basic ingredients of soils. They occur in many combinations. The relative proportions of these ingredients affect how a soil behaves, what kinds of plants grow in it, and how well they grow.

What’s not solid is just as important. Roots and organisms need the water and air that fill the spaces between soil particles.

4.  Soil Recipes

Different soil “recipes” yield different soils, depending on various “ingredients,” soil-forming factors, and time.

Soils begin to form when sediment, organic matter, or rock—parent material—is first deposited or exposed, often by water, wind, or ice.

Soils develop as parent material ages in place, changed by climate, soil organisms, and the terrain.

Soils take shape in surprising ways—as water moves minerals and elements from one layer to another, as living organisms take out nutrients and add organic matter, or as new minerals form.

Soils are constantly changing.

5.  CLORPT.  Soil scientists nickname the soil forming factors as CLORPT.


Source: youtube uploaded by CI or Conservation International.

If the Soil can speak, this is what it is going to say:

“I am the Soil, I’m in the hills and in the valleys, the farms, the orchards

Without me, humans could not exist, but you treat me like dirt

Do you realize that I’m just a thin skin on this planet?

And that I’m actually alive, full of organisms that grow your food

But I’m broken, aching, overused, sick, because of you

You have withered me away

To less than half of what I used to be just over 100 years ago

Are you paying attention?

I am turning …… to dust

So, maybe you can treat me with a little more respect

I suppose you still want to eat, right?”


(If you have any correction on the foregoing message of the Soil, please let us know, thank you)

The Soil is “personified” by Edward Norton, famous American actor, director, producer, scriptwriter and activist.  Here’ s his photo.

Edward Norton (source: wikipedia)


Finally, soil can be a fragile part of the ground cover.  Therefore, there is a continuing need to protect ground cover from erosion and other impacts that could damage soil or cause its disappearance from the ground.

The video that you just watched summed it all up.  Earthniversity hopes that you can implement programs and projects in your own community or LGU, the Local Government Unit, that is geared towards conservation and protection of the SOIL.


Here’s more discussion about the World Soil Day.