Parliamentary friends of soil celebrate World Soil Day

The Parliamentary Friends of Soil group celebrated the United Nations’ World Soil Day at a networking event held at Parliament House on Tuesday 28 November.

Hosted by Soil Science Australia with support from the Soil CRC and Soils For Life, along with fifteen other organisations, the event was a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for its sustainable management.

Parliamentary Friends of Soil Co-Chair, the Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson, said it was important to continue to highlight that together soil and water are a source of life—the theme for this years’ World Soil Day.

“Soil and water provide the foundation for food production, ecosystems, and human well-being,” Ms Swanson said.

“Recognising their invaluable and interconnected roles, we must continue to take proactive measures to safeguard these resources for future generations.

“Integrated soil and water management practices provide essential ecosystem services and are vital for the prosperity of many vital Australian industries,” she said.

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, Co-Chair since the Parliamentary Friends of Soil group was first established, said the group is an essential forum for collaboration between policy-makers, industry and people on the land.

“Soil health is so often overlooked but is vital to human survival and civilisation,” Mr McCormack said.

“Whether it be for plentiful and nutritious yields of the food we grow to eat, the mitigation of droughts, floods and landslides or for biodiversity and the health of the broader ecosystem, having healthy soils is a necessity of a healthy and stable population and planet,” he said.

CEO of Soil Science Australia, Mr Michael Walker, thanked the Hon. Penny Wensley AC for driving establishment of the Parliamentary Friends of Soil in 2020 in her former role as Australia’s National Soils Advocate.

“On behalf of soil, we are thankful for Ms Wensley’s support and for her continued commitment as both Patron of Soil Science Australian and of the Soils CRC,” Mr Walker said.

The Parliamentary Friends of Soil group’s purpose is to bring together a non-partisan forum for parliamentarians to interact with land managers, farmers, scientists, industry groups and policy makers on issues relating to health and maintenance of Australia’s soils.

DID YOU KNOW

  • World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December
  • 95% of our food comes from soils.
  • One cubic meter of healthy soil can retain over 250 litres of water.
  • Healthy soil plays a crucial role as a natural filter, purifying and storing water as it infiltrates into the ground.


ENQUIRIES AND FURTHER INFORMATION:

Ms Meryl Swanson MP: Media Adviser, Belinda McNab 0407 655 594

The Hon Michael McCormack MP: Media Adviser, Shane Manning 0439 550 506

Soil Science Australia: CEO, Mr Michael Walker 0476 450 321

Soil CRC: Communications Manager, Ms Olivia Louis 0404 016 579

Soils For Life: CEO Mr Eli Court 0412 169 488

World Soil Day resources (key messages, graphics and social media cards):
https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/campaign-materials/en/

Event social media hashtags: #WSD2023 #SoilFriends