According to FAO, soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) that are composed of weathered mineral materials, organic material, air and water, forming a natural medium for the growth of plants.  It is an essential component of ‘Land’ and ‘Eco-systems’ encompassing vegetation, water and climate in the case of land, whereas social and economic considerations including land parts in the case of ecosystems. The word ‘soil’ is also known as ‘dirt’, ‘waste’ or ‘earth’.

Topsoil has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and it is where most of the ‘Earth’s Biological Soil Activity’ occurs.  Soil organisms are categorized into microbiota, mesobiota, and macrofauna, which include species such as earthworms, millipedes, centipedes, bees, coleoptera (adults and larvae), isopoda, spiders, slugs, snails, termites, ants, dermaptera, larvae of Lepidoptera and larvae of Diptera, etc. The stability of the soil food web increases with an increasing number of organism interactions. Soil macrofauna’s biological activities regulate significantly soil processes and soil fertility.

To overcome the challenges caused by anthropogenic activities and to bring about a change towards restoring the soil ecology, a students and public centered program titled ‘Pollution Prevention, Topsoil Ecology & Ecosystem Restoration, for Soil Sustenance and Organic Food Production’, was conceptualized. In reaching out to millions, to bring out the ‘Transformative Change’ for common good, the consortia of organizations: Pondicherry University; Government of Puducherry – Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Department of Wildlife and Forest; Directorate of School Education; and the Association for Promoting Sustainability in Campuses and Communities (APSCC) as the lead organization (official partner of UN FAO-Global Soil Partnership) have joined hands for this need of the hour initiative on soil sustainability.

For more details, download the concept note here: Topsoil Ecology Restoration

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