World Soil Day will be held on December 5, 2020 with the theme: “Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity”. The aim of this event is to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, fighting soil biodiversity loss, increasing soil awareness and encouraging governments, organizations, communities and individuals around the world to commit to proactively improving soil health.
For the first time this program was endorsed unanimously in the conference organized by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in June 2013. In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day.
After 7 years digging, we know that the soil quality and quantity around the world are decreasing to support the healthy ecosystem. Deforestation, intensive agricultural practices, pollutions, climate changes, and lack of soil management are the main causes of the problem that make the soil becoming unfertile and less in soil biodiversity.
According to the study conducted by the scientists from the different countries (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Singapore, UK, USA) with the title Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Biodiversity Conservation, which was published in Biological Conservation journal (Corlett et al., 2020), it is too early to evaluate the overall impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on biodiversity.
COVID-19 is reducing the human activities. Biodiversity in general including soil biodiversity is benefiting by reducing human activities. On the other hand, reducing the biodiversity can increase the human risk to get contact with zoonosis, diseases that can be passed from animals to humans.
What is soil biodiversity? According to the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, millions of microbial and animal species live and make up soils, from bacteria and fungi to mites, beetles, and earthworms. Soil biodiversity is the total community from genes to species and varies depending on the environment. The immense diversity in soil allows for a great variety of ecosystem services that benefit the species that inhabit it, the species (including us) that use it, and its surrounding environment.
Charles Darwin in his last book The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits (1881) estimated that arable land or land used or suitable for growing crops contains up to 53,000 earthworms per acre or about 13 earthworms per square meter. Recent research has produced figures suggesting that even poor soil may support 250,000 earthworms per acre or 62 earthworms per square meter with the addition of the organic matter, while rich fertile farmland may have up to 1,750,000 earthworms per acre or about 432 earthworms per square meter.
After the observation on earthworms in relation to soil fertility and health for over 40 years, Darwin called earthworms “friends of farmers and unheralded soldiers of mankind working day and night under the soil”. Farmers understand the soil without living creatures such as earthworms will be unfertile, unhealthy, and not productive enough to support the growth of the plants.
Creating the living soil by introducing earthworms in situ or directly on site is in accordance with the theme of the World Soil Day 2020: “Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity”. The simple way to participate the world soil biodiversity movement is by doing composting and vermicomposting using compost worm or red wigglers to increase the soil biodiversity.
Please contact us at www.burnabyredwigglers.com if you need compost worms and worm castings. Let us know how we can help you to feed the soil using the resource organic waste from your kitchen, office, garden, farm, and food waste or introducing directly the red wigglers to your garden bed soil indoors and outdoors to create a living soil.