The Soil Manifesto was first drafted on October 17th, 2019 by a group of young Soil Ambassadors during an international Soil Protection and Management training led by CCIVS, part of the Soil4Life project coordinated by Legambiente Onlus and organised within the framework of the IVS for Climate Justice Campaign.
Now is the chance to add your signature and pledge support to the manifesto that asks decision makers to take action on this sensitive and vital matter.
The Manifesto will be delivered to UNESCO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the EU in 2022. It is a call to action to global and local decision makers to support an urgent transition to a life-sustaining, healthy and thriving environment, of which the ground we walk on is the vital foundation.
The time to act is Now!
Our planet and the beings who reside here and make up the complex, whole, living system on which all life depends are under serious threat. Life functions are being threatened by exploitation, short term thinking, and a worldview that values economic and financial growth over the continuity of life and living systems.
The complex, interconnected systems through which life on our planet has been able to flourish and grow over millennia have been misunderstood, misrepresented and ill-treated for too long. We, as humans, have attempted to detach ourselves from the web of life. We have created a hierarchical worldview and placed our species at the top, instead of playing an integrated part in its life processes. This attitude and behaviour is destroying our planet’s ecosystems, creating desertification, malnutrition, hunger, species-loss and other dangerous and destructive effects that will be felt for generations to come. This anthropocentric worldview and entitled behaviour needs to transform now.
There is still a window of possibility to transform our governance systems, shift the economic priorities, by placing our focus on restoring the Earth and the systems we depend on for life.
The tools we need are available. The knowledge, skills and methods to regenerate and restore soils are available. If the global resources spent on war alone were redirected to ecosystem restoration, reconciliation and the recognition of all living organisms as having responsibility to the whole, the harmony and balance could be restored. A shift is required to see the Earth, not as belonging to us to receive and exploit, but as a common responsibility, entrusted to us, placed in our care, to nurture and protect, that we may be nurtured and protected in return. We need to come back into balanced reciprocity with the living biomes that sustain us.
We have the right to live, but with that right comes responsibility to protect and care for all that gives us life. This common responsibility needs to be at the centre of decision makers’ focus and energy.
Planetary suicide makes no sense
This is not a mystical concept. The source of life, health and all well-being is found in the Earth, air, water, sun, soil and sky. These elements are the foundation of life itself. If we cause harm or damage in any way to them, we are, in fact, damaging ourselves.
The time to restore our Earth is now. The time to recognise our dependence on living soil and the soil microbiome has come- for what is essential to life, is often invisible to the human eye and only recognised and valued in the moment of death.
We urge leaders and local, national and international decision makers to have the courage and heart to make immediate choices and actions that respect the environment for the present and future generations, and to step bravely into actions on behalf of life.
Can there be any greater reason than our very own lives depending on it?
Healthy, living soil is essential for all life to thrive. In recent human history quality and care of soil has been largely ignored and misunderstood and due to mismanagement soils are under serious threat. Soils must be understood as a complex, living creation formed as a result of a multitude of inter-related micro and macro organisms working together in a web of nutrient exchange. The complex, living nature of soil is still largely unstudied and misunderstood.
The vital role that living soils play in our ecosystems needs to be recognised, protected and restored. Soil is where 95% of all our food comes from: living, biodiverse soil means healthy food and healthy people. Soil and access to land is directly linked to the right to local, food sovereignty. Human health is directly linked to the food we consume and the environment, which is founded on the ground we live on and the living soil that fulfils our need for nourishing, nutritious, vital food.
Living soils, and the microflora and macroscopic organisms that form them, are not only the foundation for vital and life-sustaining food, they are the main source of fuel, fibre and medicinal products. Living soil is essential to all ecosystems, playing a key role in the carbon cycle and all other nutrient cycles, storing and filtering water, improving resilience and mitigating impact of floods and droughts. Indeed the soil microbial flora serve as important carbon sinks, which have a direct impact on climate change mitigation. The ecosystem services which soil offers are vital and immeasurable!