CELEBRATION OF 2018 WORLD SOIL DAY- theme is “Be the solution to soil pollution”.

Dear Distinguished Fellows and Members of SSSN,

I am pleased to inform you that Tue 5th Dec, 2018 will be World Soil Day and this year`s theme is Be the solution to soil pollution”.

This year’s theme was originated as an outcome of the global symposiums on soil pollution held at FAO Hqtrs in Rome on 2nd to 4th may 2018.

As a distinguished member of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, one annual celebration you are not permitted to neglect is the World Soil Day. Sadly, it is our ignorance about the importance of soil and the degree to which we take advantage of all that it offers that have led to a drastic reduction in its quality the world over. These are precisely the problems World Soil Day aims to addressSoil is one of the most significant parts of the ecosystem, contributing to our food, water and energy and playing an important part in reducing the impact of climate change. For all of these reasons, it’s high time World Soil Day became known to more people than just scientists concerned about the welfare of our planet.

World Soil Day celebrates the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to the human commonwealth through its contribution to food, water and energy security and as a mitigator of biodiversity loss and climate change. It is celebrated particularly by the global community of 60,000 soil scientists charged with the responsibility of generating and communicating soil knowledge for the common good

In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) made a resolution proposing the 5th of December be World Soil Day in order to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being. 2015 was also declared to be the International Year of Soils .The essence of the celebration was to raise  as much awareness as possible about the enormous role soil plays in food security. Unsurprisingly, so far it’s mostly been the global community of 60,000 or so soil scientists who have been the ones celebrating the day the most. The chances of us ordinary folks exchanging ‘Happy Soil Day’ cards in the near future remain minimal, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to appreciate the important roles that soil plays in our lives.

The best way to celebrate this year’s event is to educate ourselves and create awareness on the importance of soils in our day to day lives.

Directives on the celebration of the events

Starting from October 2018, all Heads of Department of Soil Science in Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Agriculture, Research institutes should as a matter of compulsion hold public seminars, symposium, road shows and other activities to create awareness on “Be the solution to soil pollution”.

The mother of all events will be on the 5th of December, 2018 when a lecture is expected to be delivered by the HOD himself except he is indisposed or out of town. The audience should include the VC, Provosts, DVC academic, Deans of Science based faculties, soil science option students and representative of final year students from secondary schools. The Print/Electronic media should also be invited.

In Abuja, our society, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Food and Agriculture Organisation – Nigeria (FAO), and Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) will hold a World Press Conference in the Hon Minister of Agriculture’s Conference Room on 5th December, 2018.

Reports of each activity supported with photographs must be sent to the President of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) for compilation and onward transmission to IUSS President, FAO GSP, and national and international soil science societies around the world on or before 31st January, 2019.

My candid advice to Heads of Departments is to as soon as possible, set up a standing committee on the celebration of this important event.

Fellow Soil Scientists lets support this year’s event and make it one to remember always.

Please see attached the full copy of the document.

Thank you so much.

Prof B.A.Raji, FSSSN.
Department of Agronomy
University of Ilorin, Ilorin.

Kwara State.

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