World Soil Day 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.


The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), in 2002, adopted a resolution proposing that 5 December be marked as World Soil Day to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being. The date of 5 December was chosen because it corresponds with the official birthday of the late H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, who was one of the main proponents of this initiative.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Conference, in June 2013, unanimously endorsed World Soil Day and requested official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013, the 68th UN General Assembly declared 5 December as the World Soil Day.


When soil is lost, it takes years to replace. It takes up to 1,000 years to produce just 2 to 3 cm of soil. It’s believed that up to 90% of the world’s land will be degraded by 2050. The situation is dire, which means there is no time to waste when it comes to saving our soil.

Everyone can contribute to maintaining or improving soil fertility. Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Learn about the importance of soil health and how it affects our future
  • Watch videos and documentaries about soil, including DIRT! The Movie, Living Soil, Symphony of the Soil, and Soil Erosion: A Historical Perspective
  • Commit to caring for the soil in your community by composting, planting cover crops, and building terraces to prevent soil erosion.
  • Share this day on social media with #WorldSoilDay.

BIOS Editorial Board

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The 61st meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council meeting will take place online on 6-9 December. The Council will consider a proposed Work Program comprising 25 projects and one program. If approved, the Work Program would allocate USD 190.7 million. The Council will also discuss:

  • the organization of the GEF seventh Assembly, which is scheduled to take place in 2022.
  • a report from the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), including a review of STAP reports regarding: Understanding South-South Cooperation for Knowledge Exchange; Enabling Elements for Good Project Design; and How to Design Circular Economy Projects.

Council Members will receive an update on GEF activities in support of the following multilateral environmental agreements: the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Stockholm Convention); the Minamata Convention on Mercury; and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol).

At the close of the 61st meeting of the GEF Council, Council Members will celebrate the GEF’s 30th Anniversary.



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On November 13, the Republic of Moldova officially launched the 2021 forestry campaign for planting your future.

The start of the Greening Campaign was assumed by the Presidency, the Parliament, the Government, the Central Branch Authority – the Ministry of Environment with subordinate institutions, other public authorities. Thus, the collaborators of the Ministry of Environment and subordinate institutions, together with representatives of the presidential apparatus, went to the “Codru” Nature Reserve in Lozova, where they participated in the afforestation works of a massif rich in secular forests.

It is a welcome campaign, especially considering the low rate of afforestation in Moldova, but also the disastrous state of existing forests. However, in order to have a big impact, the greening campaign of the representatives of the Central Public Administration had to start on degraded lands and not on the territory of the Scientific Reserve, where according to the legislation in force it should be a model worth following.

I do not know to what extent they are specialists in the field of soil Ministry of the Environment, but if they want to start such a company throughout the country, then they had to say if it is the right time to make this greening company. From the data we have, the water content in the soil is at the level of wilting. Pedologists and agronomists know that in these conditions it is not recommended to plant trees and shrubs, nor annual plants. We would like to get out of the campaigns (electoral, greening, etc.) and to carry out sustainable activities so that people’s lives and the state of the environment improve.

Valentin Ciubotaru,

Executive director, NGO BIOS

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The Global Environment Facility has announced 10 new winners of its Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation, a competition that provides seed funding for innovative initiatives designed to help vulnerable countries cope with the worsening climate crisis.

The project concepts selected in the Challenge Program’s second round were submitted by BFA Global, BNP Paribas, CropIn, Earth Security, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation, Heifer International, the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Winrock International, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the World Resources Institute.

A total of 418 submissions were received in the GEF’s latest call for proposals, spanning a wide range of fields and sectors. Each winning concept will be eligible to receive grants from the GEF-hosted Special Climate Change Fund and Least Developed Countries Fund, which have over the past 20 years provided targeted financing for climate resilience projects in developing and low-income countries.

GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez said the strong interest in the competition reflected the potential for the private sector to invest and engage much more in climate resilience solutions, particularly in developing countries where adaptation needs are enormous.

“The toughest environmental challenges in front of us – including how to cope with climate change – require the brightest minds at the table. It is truly encouraging to see this competition draw in so many world-class companies, financial institutions, and technology developers with excellent ideas about how to build more climate-resilient societies, supply chains, food systems, and economies,” Rodriguez said. “When the GEF launched the Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation two years ago, it opened the door to new partnerships that are making a real difference in the developing countries and Least Developed Countries whose environmental ambitions need urgent support.” 

The Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation’s first cohort of nine winning project concepts were announced at the 25th UN climate change summit, held in Madrid in 2019. Those climate adaptation initiatives are being led by partners including Clarmondial, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nespresso, South Pole, and Willis Towers Watson, alongside GEF implementing agencies.

The latest ten winners, announced during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, will be eligible for grants of between $440,000 and $1.3 million each, once fully approved. The total GEF support from this round of the competition will be $10 million.

The new proposed projects aim to improve access to capital, fintech, and financial services, including for smallholder farmers transitioning to climate adaptation practices; create a nature-based private financing facility for coastal cities in Least Developed Countries; develop more resilient supply chains through the systematic use of climate data, standards, and certification; support climate-resilient rice landscapes; and expand investment flows into climate adaptation measures, including through new insurance instruments.

As in the first round, each initiative will be developed and implemented in partnership with one of the GEF’s 18 official implementing agencies, including Conservation International, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The GEF supports climate adaptation efforts mainly through the LDCF and SCCF. Since their inception in 2001, they have provided $2 billion in grant financing and mobilized another $13 billion from other sources to reduce the vulnerability of approximately 60 million people in 118 countries. The LDCF provides targeted support to Least Developed Countries, and the SCCF is focused on innovation that can increase developing countries’ climate resilience at scale, in partnership with the private sector.

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On August 9, 18 people were detained, including the deputy director and five other officials from the Institute for Spatial Planning (IPOT).

They are targeted in a case initiated for abuse of office, passive corruption, active corruption and influence peddling.

The General Prosecutor’s Office announces that the criminal case was initiated at the beginning of this year, and according to the evidence, between March and July 2021, IPOT specialists allegedly received and received from individuals and beneficiaries of companies amounts between 250 and 2,000 euros. In exchange for these amounts, those responsible diminished the creditworthiness of the soil in the study for the lands owned by the sponsors of the pedological investigations, thus prejudicing the budget of the local public administrations in particularly large proportions “, the communiqué reads ( de-cna-si-prosurori-a-fost-retinut-vicedirectorul-dar-si-alti-functionari-de-la-ipot /).

Accredited by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), AO BIOS has repeatedly stated at meetings and events organized by the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture that soil quality data are outdated (using data from 1970-1990) and do not correspond. reality. We did not know then that the data presented by IPOT and included in the Land Cadastre – are “adjusted” depending on the amount paid for some IPOT collaborators as a bribe.

The question arises – to what extent the existing data on soil quality are correct and we can rely on them. Based on them, rural activities are planned, especially agricultural ones.
In 2018, the Republic presented the national targets for achieving the objectives of neutral soil degradation (LDN), signed by the President of the Republic of Moldova. To what extent are the data used by the authors true? Among other things, it is planned to stop soil degradation by 2030, which is impossible, but this is already the responsibility of the authors of the document.

Thus, it is necessary to set up a soil monitoring system that would provide real data on soil quality and on the basis of which rural development planning would be carried out. Because now the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture are separate, each of them must contribute to the state of the most important resource of the Republic of Moldova – the soil, where about 75% are chernozems.

Valentin Ciubotaru,

Executive director, NGO BIOS

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Dear Colleagues,

The Global Environment Facility Bulletin was published in July-August this year: Council highlights, draft biodiversity framework and GEF partnership news. You can access the newsletter at: ? e = fcb18bdac6

Enjoy your reading.

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The 2021 Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June will focus on turning degraded land into healthy land. Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover. It locks away the atmospheric carbon warming the Earth, slowing climate change. It can also lessen the impacts of climate change and underpin a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We invite you to join our fun-packed and educative celebration of this year’s Desertification and Drought Day. There is something for everyone – from heads of state to children.

We are also inviting you to share the program with your colleagues, friends, family and partners, and invite them to join in. The program will feature live virtual events and an online program streamed via UNCCD social media.

Virtual events 

  • World leader’s high-level forum, titled, “Restoration. Land. Recovery.” convened by the President Carlos of Costa Rica (Streamed via Facebook)
  • Launch of the Global Assessment Report on Drought by renown subject experts. Register here: Webinar

Online Programme 

  • A talk show
  • Music, film and dance shows
  • Children’s program with a music presentation and a one-day challenge for children
  • Thematic panels
  • Announcement of the winner of the Land for Life Award
  • Video messages from special guests
  • Media Assets

A run-down of the full day program and products will be available here:


Post your events here:


The event will be streamed via the UNCCD Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts. @unccd 








The event will be stream via the UNCCD Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts. @unccd

Learn more about Desertification and Drought Day 2021 and its theme “Restoration.Land.Recovery: We build back better with healthy land.”


Marcos Montoiro
NGO and Civil Society Liaison Officer

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

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