World Soil Day: More than just dirt under our feet
"Urban soil" named soil of the year
World Soil Day is traditionally on 5 December, which gives the Federal Environment Agency occasion to draw attention to the importance of intact soil: ”When compared to the media water and soil, soil is still often trampled under foot. However, man lives on as well as from intact and healthy soils. Fertile soil is a source of raw materials and food, a store of nutrients, water or greenhouse gases, and a habitat. Contaminated sites, the expansion of human settlements, and the global phenomenon of desertification have increasingly jeopardised the role played by soil. Efficient soil protection is a matter of common sense”, said UBA President Jochen Flasbarth. Although the importance of our soils has drawn more public attention in the past ten years due to a variety of campaigns run by the Federal and Laender governments, there is still much to be done. The soil of the year happens to be urban soil, so as to focus attention on the soil right under our feet. Urban soils are of utmost importance for the water table and the climate, although they are sometimes exposed to higher levels of pollution.