BRUSSELS, Belgium, 5 December 2020: Using their ‘Keep soil alive, Protect biodiversity’, the FAO is celebrating the World Soils Day today, raising awareness for the value of healthy biodiverse soil ecosystems around the globe.
As the sector producing growing media and soil improvers, the trade body for the growing media industry GME says it can only stress the fact the world’s soil is an absolutely essential and limited natural resource that needs protection and proper management. When sourcing important raw material peat, GME says the sector is well aware of its role with regards to wetlands and believe, that it can help achieving restoration targets for degraded peatlands by broadly implementing the principles of ‘Responsibly Produced Peat’ (RPP).
The acronym RPP stands for peat that is extracted only from sources without high natural value (High Conservation Value areas are left untouched) and during restoration of the peatlands, an after-use plan helps to turn former production fields into areas with a positive ecological impact, maximising environmental benefits including biodiversity.
Once applied in horticulture, growing media products help to protect soil in two different ways:
Directly: Soil covers and mulching products protect soils from dehydration, increase soil carbon contents and stimulate soil organisms, increasing biodiversity
Indirectly: Growing media used in (closed) protected cropping systems (“soilless growing”) enable sustainable plant production without using soil; a lower land-use footprint is achieved and helps limiting the pressure of the economic demand for soil.