Sadhguru’s Save Soil movement has a solution to global agricultural land degradation – Presented at COP15


Sadhguru completed a 100-day, 30,000km solo motorcycle #JourneyForSoil on June 21, 2022. As part of it, he flew to Abidjan in Ivory Coast to address representatives from 197 nations during the 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). In his talk, he distilled one overarching goal – which is to ensure there is a minimum of 3 to 6 percent organic content in agricultural soil and offered a three-pronged strategy to achieve this. The presented solution is listed below.

The gathering of all the countries of the world at the COP15 summit in Côte d’Ivoire is a key opportunity to redouble governmental political efforts aimed at reversing the degradation of agricultural land everywhere and, in so doing, bringing humanity back from the brink of extinction of the soils.

To save soils on a large scale, we must shape a deep-rooted grassroots movement. Despite the complex nature of the ecological problem we face, a successful grassroots movement can only be created if we can distill corrective action into a single, succinctly and simply articulated goal.. Our history of green efforts shows very little unequivocal success – largely because we have failed to convert complex scientific arguments into simple, easy-to-understand actions. The 1987 Montreal Protocol is often hailed as the most successful international agreement to date – and it happened because there was a particular focus on just one thing – halting the depletion of ozone.

In the same way, there are many scientific nuances on how to deal with the problem of land degradation in different types of soil conditions, in various agro-climatic zones and different contexts of cultural and economic traditions. It is nevertheless possible to distil an overriding objective – which is to ensure that there is a minimum of 3 to 6 percent organic content in the agricultural soil.. This would make our soil alive and thriving sustainably on all farmland.

This overarching goal of ensuring a minimum of 3-6% organic content for agricultural soils can, in turn, be achieved through a pragmatic three-pronged strategy:

  1. We must encourage farmers to reach the minimum threshold of 3-6% organic content by offering attractive incentives to reach this threshold. Such incentives would create an ambitious race among farmers. It should be noted that there should be an implementation program phased over a number of years – the first phase being that of inspiration, followed by a second phase of providing incentives, and possibly a third phase with appropriate deterrent measures.
  2. We need to facilitate carbon credit incentives for farmers. Current processes for farmers to reap the benefits of carbon credit are far too complex and therefore need to be significantly simplified.
  3. We need to develop a premium brand for food grown from soils with a target organic content level of 3-6%. Along with this, we also need to clearly articulate the various health, nutrition, and prevention benefits of consuming these foods. Through this initiative, people would be healthier, more productive and more resilient, leading to man-day gains and less strain on our healthcare systems. It is therefore obvious that such a brand of premium foods would make much more sense than the current system of simply trying to distinguish between so-called “organic” products and “non-organic” products.

Hurry up. But luckily we know what to do. With the development of appropriate government policies, we can reverse the impending extinction of soils. To facilitate this task of rapidly changing government policies around the world, the Save Soil movement is creating a handbook of recommendations for each of the 193 countries. More details can be obtained from the movement’s website at Savesoil.org.

Let us make it happen!

About Sadhguru

Sadhguru is a yogi, a mystic and a visionary. He has received three presidential awards in India, including one for his environmental work as well as the country’s highest annual civilian award for outstanding and distinguished service.

He is the founder of the Isha Foundation and has launched major green initiatives that have created a model of environmentally sustainable economic development.

He has spoken at the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Bank, UK House of Lords, TED and countless global corporations, and has also been invited to present at Oxford, Stanford , Harvard, Yale, Wharton and MIT, among others.

About Conscious Planet – Save Soil Movement

The Conscious Planet Movement to Save Soil is a global civil movement aimed at inspiring a conscious approach to saving our soil and our planet. It is above all a popular movement. It aims to activate the support of over 3.5 billion people (more than 60% of the global voting population) to make green issues an electoral priority for governments around the world.

The Movement aims to urge and support governments in formulating policies that will address soil health in their country and make agricultural activity more soil-friendly to halt and reverse land degradation globally. The main recommendation of the Save Soil Movement is that governments around the world adopt policies that will mandate a minimum of 3-6% organic content in all agricultural soils in their countries.

World leaders, influencers, artists, subject matter experts, farmers, spiritual leaders and NGOs are among those who have pledged their support to rekindle humanity’s relationship with the soil.

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Amalia H. Mercado