Thailand organized nationwide activities to honor His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and his brilliance in the area of soil, as the international community marks World Soil Day on December 5.
One area to which His Majesty King Bhumibol devoted considerable attention, and achieved tangible results, was in the area of soil, specifically preserving soil around water sources and rehabilitating deteriorated soil. His Majesty’s work greatly benefited the nation’s farmers and served as the basis for modern Thai environmental re-balancing efforts. His Majesty initiated a soil development project in 1968 to rejuvenate the soil of suffering farmers and saw to the establishment of a development center aimed directly at soil issues, ultimately bringing about successes which were noted both nationally and around the globe.
In 2002, the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), in coordination with the Land Development Department of Thailand and the Soil and Fertilizer Society of Thailand, organized an international conference on soil in Bangkok, hearing about His Majesty’s works and viewing the achievements in an exhibition. The IUSS was so impressed that it mandated World Soil Day in honor of His Majesty in sustainable betterment of soil.
At the 144th United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) summit, which took place in June 2012 in Rome, Italy, it was officially decided that World Soil Day be observed annually on His Majesty’s birthday December 5 in acknowledgement of the gratitude owed to the late King by soil scientists the world over.
On April 16, 2012, the IUSS presented His Majesty with the Humanitarian Soil Scientist award and requested his approval for the use of December 5 as World Soil Day. It was stated that the day would be used to raise global awareness of soil betterment. They also requested the late King’s approval for 2015 to be recognized as “World Soil Year”.
World Soil Day is a day for people to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil. World Soil Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being.
Thailand has denoted December 5 as World Soil Day since 2012. For 2019, the FAO has set the theme for the day as “Stop Soil Erosion, Save Our Future”, focusing on the promotion of awareness of the need for topsoil preservation.