2015 International Year Of The Soil: A Message Of Hope

By Jon Queally

02 January , 2015

Dr. Shiva says that within ‘the soil lies the answer to the problems oil has created’ and that ‘organic gardens of hope everywhere’ and ‘farms that grow real food’ can be a powerful enough force to help upend the march of globalized neoliberalism that is taking the planet towards the brink of destruction. (Image: Magnus Franklin/flickr/cc)

Last year, the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization officially declared that 2015 would be celebrated as the International Year of the Soil citing the threat to one of the key ingredients to the planet’s food and farming systems posed by “expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use, pollution, overgrazing and climate change.”

Though many recognize the FAO declaration as a largely symbolic gesture, many advocates of organic food and sustainable agricultural are planning to seize the designation as a way to push forth their message that the health of the planet’s soil should not be relegated as a metaphorical issue, but rather one that should be at the very heart of serious conversations and policy changes humanity must begin in order to transform its economic systems, its democracies, the way it generates power, and the way it feeds itself.

Summarizing the issues at stake and the fight ahead, one of the world’s most prominent advocates for democracy and organic agriculture, Dr. Vandana Shiva, an Indian activist and founder of the seed-saving organization Navdanya, has posted an impassioned New Years message to those battling on behalf of food sovereignty, economic egalitarianism, agroecology, climate action, and social justice.

Read more here: http://www.countercurrents.org/queally020115.htm


  1. Many years ago when I was studying organic waste reduction here in Canada I discovered that in 1950 we had almost 30 inches of topsoil on the prairies, and by 1995 those levels were down to 5 inches. I for one am totally behind the Year of the Soil.

    1. It’s the same here in Australia. The difference is we strated with far less top soil. Chemical ag is a faustian bargain: forced growth each year for 3% of top soil each and every year. We can turn it around. Remember the dust bowl in the 1930s in the US. We still have time!

      1. Yes I am hoping the same for Canada now that I’m seeing more and more consciousness on the matter. The organic growers movement is really taking off here, and people in general are just more concerned. Then you add to that some of the losses that Monsanto, and the other major conglomerates have taken in the last few weeks, and 2015 just might be a crackerjack year.

  2. I’m reading Organic Manifesto by Maria Rodale and she says that if all cultivated land in the world were farmed organically, it would immediately reduce the climate crisis significantly- I think you’re right, 2015 is the year of soil!