International Year of Soils (IYS 2015)

After designating December 5 as World Soil Day, the United Nations General Assembly's Sixty-eighth session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS 2015) on December 20, 2013.

The goal of the International Year of Soils is to increase public understanding of the significance of soils for both food security and the ecosystem, which is made up of all local plants and animals.

Organic residues, clay, and rock fragments that are present on the Earth's surface make up soil. To grow food, provide clothing, and construct homes, we require soil. In addition, soils recycle nutrients, store and filter water, and act as a flood barrier.

There is a finite amount of fertile soil on the planet's surface. Soil erosion and deterioration can be brought on by deforestation, poor agricultural methods, and pollution. Additionally, soils become trapped below as cities continue to expand and more structures are built.

The IYS 2015's key objectives are to:

  • Increase public knowledge of the enormous significance of soil for human life among decision-makers and civic society;
  • Inform the public on the critical role soil plays in ensuring food security, preventing and reducing climate change, providing key ecosystem services, eradicating poverty, and promoting sustainable development;
  • bolster sensible regulations and initiatives for the conservation and protection of soil resources;
  • To create and maintain healthy soils for various land users and population groups, encourage investment in sustainable soil management activities;
  • bolster activities related to the Post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals process;
  • Encourage the expeditious development of soil information collection and monitoring capabilities at all levels (global, regional and national).


  • The International Year of Soil was planned by the Global Soil Partnership, and local events were organized by agricultural and environmental organizations all across the world to support the noteworthy year.
  • A launch event was hosted by the US Department of Agriculture. With monthly themes, its National Resources Conservation Service remembered the occasion.
  • Open University's courses on soil were highlighted on OpenLearn.
  • In Manhattan, Kansas, Kansas State University hosted a celebration of the International Year of Soils and the beginning of the 12th International Phytotechnologies Conference.
  • A two-day Vivekananda Science Exhibition to Rural Masses (VISETORM-VIII) was held at Vivekananda College for students in rural schools.


"International Year of Soils: Ethiopia Experience" was the theme of the 2015 Ethiopia Society of Soils Science (ESSS) Conference. World Soil Day was observed at the conclusion of the conference by representatives from the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Ethiopian Society of Soil Science.

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