As part of the 2015 International Year of Soils, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has created a new series of educational materials to teach children about the importance of soil for our food, environment, livelihoods and well-being.

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Originally created to accompany an exhibition on soils, the booklets have now been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Arabic and Russian with the content adapted slightly for each country. There are four booklets available that are aimed at different levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced and young adults – along with a guide for teachers and other educators, which contains discussion ideas and other activities to support their learning on this topic.

They are aimed at children who are between the ages of 5 – 14 and use puzzles, drawing activites and word games to tell the story of soil and highlight the importance of this vital resource to the next generation.

Mario Lubetkin from the FAO has said that “Our collaboration with NACD helps us accomplish one of the main objectives of the IYS, which is to raise awareness about the profound importance of soil for human life. The materials produced will help FAO to educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.”

To download a copy of the booklets, visit the International Year of Soils website.

Photograph: Bernhard Huber

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