In a handful of fertile soil, there are more individual organisms than the total number of human beings that have ever existed.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

International Decade of Soils

IUSS proclaims the International Decade of Soils 2015-2024

In the Vienna Soil Declaration of Dec. 7, 2015, the IUSS has identified the key roles played by soils in addressing the major resource, environmental, health and social problems which humanity is currently facing. Given this situation, the IUSS believes that it is incumbent on IUSS members to not only maintain the level of activity generated in IYS 2015 but to increase the momentum and the extent of our contributions on these issues as we move towards the Centenary of the IUSS formation in 2024. In the course of the highly successful conference ‘Celebration of International Year of Soils 2015 – Achievements and Future Challenges’ the International Decade of Soils 2015-2024 was proclaimed by Rainer Horn, IUSS President.

The Executive Committee and the Council of the IUSS will play a pivotal role in setting overall objectives and directions during this period. However, it is essential that all Divisions, Commissions, Working Groups, National, Regional and individual Members but also experts of related fields of expertise accept the challenge to undertake activities to ensure that the significance of soils in maintaining healthy life and environment remain continually at the forefront of political and scientific planning and decision making.

The International Decade of Soils shall thus be a continuation of the efforts made during the International Year of the Soils 2015. It will be marked by a number of activities on the national and international levels.

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Results of IUSS Poster Contest ‘Soilutions’ to solve soil degradation problems

IUSS considers stopping soil degradation as one of its most important tasks, and invited to propose ‘Soilutions’ in the form of a poster in order to preserve this unique resource and life itself.

The ideas and proposals should represent the role of the soil as an essential natural resource to preserve the environment. This is very relevant for reaching many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The contest was an initiative under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015-2024 which shall contribute to increase the awareness about the importance of soil.

IUSS received 42 posters which were evaluated by a Committee. After the evaluation results were approved by the Executive Committee, the IUSS awarded Hernández Huerta Aldo Alfredo (Mexico) with 1,000 USD for the best ‘Soilutions’ poster and Richard Gantlett (United Kingdom) and the group of M.A. Samarasekara, A.G.S.D. De Silva and R. Thusyanthini (all Sri Lanka) with 500 USD each for the second and third best posters. The best 12 posters plus a cover poster shall be used to produce a ‘Soilutions’ calendar.

IUSS thanks all contestants and congratulates the winners!

Winning poster of IUSS Poster Contest ‘Soilutions’ to solve soil degradation problems

Winning poster of IUSS Poster Contest ‘Soilutions’ to solve soil degradation problems

IUSS Global Soil Icon Contest – results

Soil is the essence of all terrestrial life, and critical to the delivery of major ecosystem services for human wellbeing and nature conservancy. Thus, IUSS launched a contest looking for an iconic symbol that represents major ecosystem services of soil, while being simple and easy to be comprehended by the general public.

The deadline for submissions was 15 March 2018, and a total of 22 interesting soil icons were received. Here, the IUSS Secretariat would like to thank all contestants for their stimulating submissions. The selection committee, comprised of members of the IUSS Executive Committee, decided to award 2,500 USD of the IUSS Stimulus fund to the winning soil icon created by Monique Lima de Oliveira and Alessandro Samuel-Rosa (Brazil).

The winning icon will be used during the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), an initiative launched by the International Union of Soil Sciences to raise awareness of the key roles played by soils.

The best 12 icons out of all submitted icons will be displayed on the IUSS website (one per month).

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Activities of Soil Science Societies and Soil Institutions


Soils in Landscapes of the World – 2018 Calendar

This 2018 Calendar showing Soils in Landscapes of the World was designed in the Department of Soil Science and Landscape Management, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, to celebrate 2018 as the next year of the FAO UNESCO International Decade of Soils (2015-2024) and also the 100 anniversary of the Polish Geographical Society (1918-2018). Authors of the photos: Marcin Switoniak (tundra and mountain landscapes) and Michal Jankowski (others)


Latin-American Soil Science Society and the Latin-American network for soil science teaching & learning:
Thus are Soils of my Nation!
Based on the FAO Global Soil Partnership and the International Decade of Soils, the program Thus are Soils of my Nation – an educational project of the Latin-American Soil Science Society and the Latin-American network for soil science teaching & learning – would like to invite the global soil community and the general public to participate in an awareness campaign about the value of the soil for life.

The goal is to create a “Soil’s Friends Virtual Network”, in which all people who are interested globally collaborate on diverse levels to educate and generate public awareness of the need to preserve the soil as an essential part of the environmental balance.

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