Soil is considered a non-renewable resource, making it even more precious – and something we ought to take care of!

Archaeologists believe that the collapse of some ancient civilizations – including that of Harappa in the Indus Valley, and the Mayans in Central America – was a direct result of mismanagement of their soils.

Among the first soil scientists were the Greek Theophrastus (371 BC-287 BC) who wrote “On the Causes of Plants”, and the Chinese Fan Shengzhi (1st century BC) who wrote on many agricultural topics including “Field Usage, Plowing, Irrigation, Harvesting,” and other crop-specific topics. Their works were based on observation so, in the modern world, they are not considered “scientists.”

The soil knowledge of scholars in Ancient Greece, Ancient China, the Americas, and Europe had periods of intense learning and periods of knowledge repression based on societal norms. But what we call “Soil Science” today is based on their observations.

World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources. An international day to celebrate soil was initially recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002.