"This park will be lost in 45 seconds"
10-12-2015Press release - On December 5, World Soil Day, signs started popping up in parks around European cities. "Castle Park will be lost in just 30 seconds" said a sign in the old park in Bristol, UK. In Stromovka Park in Prague, Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin, Porta Nuova in Milano, and Vondelpark in Amsterdam, similar warnings were spotted.
Look more closely and it turns out that Save Our Soils is behind the signs. The campaign was initiated by the FAO, the Dutch company Nature & More, and 200 international partners. "We hope to raise some eyebrows, " says initiator Volkert Engelsman, CEO of Nature & More. "There is certainly enough reason to worry. Of course, nothing bad will happen to Castle Park, but in those thirty seconds a fertile area the size of Bristol Park is lost elsewhere in the world."
Soil erosion and global warming are closely connected
The guerrilla action was carried out by concerned citizens. "One call on our Facebook page was enough to get over 100 volunteers who wanted to help with this action," says Engelsman, who goes on to explain what causes this involvement: "We are now losing agricultural soils to erosion at a rate of thirty football fields per minute worldwide. The biggest loss, 2,219 square meters per second, is a result of industrial farming. This has dramatic consequences for food safety, water management, biodiversity, and the climate."
Soils should play a central part in the climate negotiations in Paris, according to Engelsman. "It's not just us saying that, but the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN says so as well. Soils are a major depository for organic carbon. With smart organic agriculture we can not just maintain soil fertility, we can even increase its carbon content. If we manage to do that on a global scale, we can
actually reach our climate targets."
For photos of the park guerrilla actions, see here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/natureandmore/albums/72157662020051751
Save Our Soils promotes organic agriculture as a solution for soil degradation and erosion. The campaign is a public/private venture by the FAO together with Nature & More / Eosta, an international distributor of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. See also: www.saveoursoils.com and www.natureandmore.nl.
End of press release