Darina Allen launches Save Our Soil campaign

Irish support sought for European Citizens’ Initiative petition to protect soils

Darina Allen: “Let’s stop treating soil like dirt”.

Darina Allen: “Let’s stop treating soil like dirt”.

 

Stop treating our soil like dirt is the message behind a campaign being supported by Darina Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School, TV presenter and environmentalist Duncan Stewart and Green Party TD Catherine Martin, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers posed to Irish soils through pesticide uses, afforestation, erosion, urbanisation and overgrazing.

“Each and every one of us totally depends the four or five inches of soil around the globe for our very existence. Remember, if we don’t have rich and fertile soil, we won’t have good food and we won’t have clean water,” Allen told a meeting in Dublin on Wednesday.

People4Soil

A social media campaign #Selfie4Soil was launched at the meeting by Environmental Pillar, which represents 26 Irish environmental organisations, to boost public awareness of the People4Soil campaign.

The Pillar is asking Irish people to sign People4Soil’s European Citizens’ Initiative petition, calling on the European Commission to pass a soil directive, obliging member countries to protect their soil in the way that air, water and natural habitats are protected

Ireland is tasked with contributing 8,000 signatures to the petition, with a total of 1 million signatures, from at least seven member States being required for it to be passed.

The Selfie4Soil initiative invites people to post a selfie on social media wearing the campaign T-shirt (available free of charge by sending your name and address to soils@environmentalpillar.ie), linking to the petition at environmentalpillar.ie/people4soil and using the hashtag #Selfie4Soil.

Klaus Laitenberger, People4Soil Ireland spokesman, said: “The initiative strives to reach people that care about issues affecting soil and want to conserve this invaluable and essentially non-renewable resource that we’re plundering on an unimaginable scale.

“The biggest threat we face as a human species is the decline in soil fertility. We are losing soil at a massive rate and won’t have enough soil left to feed the growing world population if we continue to farm the way we do it.

Earth Day

“We have to act quickly as the cost of soil degradation is $10.6 trillion, or 17 per cent of global gross GDP. That’s quite a waste. We have to stop taking soil for granted and start seeing it as a resource that’s valuable.”

The Dublin meeting was organised to coincide with Earth Day on Saturday, April 22nd. Earth Day marks the anniversary of the start of the environmental movement in 1970.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.