Making a strong pitch to the global community for urgent action to save the world’s soils, Yuri Jain, Project Coordinator, Isha Outreach, presented the Save Soil Movement at a virtual session hosted by United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) today where he was invited to speak at the ongoing Faith for Earth Dialogue. The Save Soil Movement has been initiated by one of the world's most respected spiritual gurus, Sadhguru, Founder-Isha Foundation. Isha was accredited to the UNEA by UNEP in 2020.
At the event titled Faith in Action: Only One Earth, Mr. Jain spoke about the rapid degradation of soil globally and his organization’s efforts at reversing and halting the calamitous phenomenon. Sharing alarming statistics about the state of the world’s soil, Mr. Jain said, “Soil degradation is a worldwide phenomenon. 62% of Indian soil is turning to sand. Africa could lose two-thirds of its arable lands by 2030; the US has already lost 50% of its top soil, Europe has 75% of its soil with insufficient organic content,” adding that experts have warned that at current rates of soil degradation, 90% of earth’s soil could be degraded by 2050.
Highlighting the urgent need to address a root cause of food and water scarcity, climate change, biodiversity loss, Mr. Jain said all these challenges are related to what he termed the “meta problem” – soil degradation. He said that human activity has “brought this life-making material to the verge of extinction” and detailed his organization’s efforts to address the challenge.
“We seek to educate and empower citizens across all countries of the world and we are working with governments to initiate policy-driven action to revitalize soil,” Mr. Jain stated. The Save Soil Movement aims to reach 3.5 billion people globally with its message. Mr. Jain added that the Movement was also simultaneously working with governments across the world to bring the focus to the urgent need to Save Soil.
As part of the Movement, Mr. Jain said Sadhguru would ride 30,000 km across 27 countries in 100 days to raise awareness and build consensus for urgent policy action to address soil extinction.
Mr. Jain ended his address with an appeal to the global community to embrace and own the Save Soil Movement as their own. “The Movement to Save Soil is not an Isha Movement. It’s a Movement that’s owned by anyone who is made of soil; it’s a Movement that’s driven by anyone who has ever walked on soil; and it’s a Movement that belongs to anyone who wishes to leave behind a world worthy of living in for their children. This is your Movement,” he said.
The Faith for Earth Dialogues is an initiative that aims to demonstrate “the power and potential of faith-based organisations and faith leaders in shaping the discussions at UNEA as well as engaging in policy dialogue with other stakeholders including governments, major groups, cities, businesses and other civil society organisations.”