1. Agriculture World

Sadhguru Demands a Montreal Protocol on Soil Pollution

Sadhguru is a spiritual leader who has spent the last 24 years leading a worldwide people's movement to save the world's soil. His Conscious Planet: Save Soil movement aims to focus the world's attention on soil, encourage 3.5 billion people, or 60 percent of the global electorate, to advocate for soil-healthy policies, and ensure that soil has a three to six percent organic content.

Shivam Dwivedi
Sadhguru at COP
Sadhguru at COP

World's leaders agreed in 1987 to phase out the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. The Montreal Protocol that resulted has been hailed as the "world's most successful environmental protection agreement," and Sadhguru, yogi, mystic, visionary, and soil activist, knows why: it was able to unite the world around a single goal.

"I believe the time has come for that kind of action for soil," he said on Tuesday at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Cote d'Ivoire.

Sadhguru is a spiritual leader who has spent the last 24 years leading a worldwide people's movement to save the world's soil. His Conscious Planet: Save Soil movement aims to focus the world's attention on soil, encourage 3.5 billion people, or 60 percent of the global electorate, to advocate for soil-healthy policies, and ensure that soil has a three to six percent organic content.

"If you add organic content to sand, sand will turn into soil," Sadhguru explained in a video. "If all organic content is removed from the soil, the soil will become sand."

The minimum organic content for agricultural soil should be between three and six percent, but this is not the case currently. According to Sadhguru, soil in Southern Europe has 1.1 percent organic content, soil in the United States has 1.25 to 1.4 percent, soil in India has 0.68 percent, and soil in Africa has on average 0.3 percent.

"When you look around the world, not a single country has a minimum of three percent, not even a single country." So, why can't we set this goal?" He inquired.

Sadhguru outlined a three-pronged strategy for restoring soil organic content:

  • Providing farmers with incentives to meet this goal.

  • Making it easier for farmers to take advantage of carbon credits.

  • Create a special label for foods grown from soil that contains the desired levels of organic content and promote the health benefits of these foods.

"These agricultural products of fruit, vegetables, and grains should be placed on a different shelf in the marketplace," he said.

Sadhguru's words come at a critical juncture in the history of the world's lands. A major UN report released ahead of the UNCCD's COP15 found that human activities have altered more than 70% of the Earth's land, with up to 40% of it degraded. According to Conscious Planet: Save Soil, 52 percent of agricultural soils are also degraded, and scientists have warned that we only have 40 to 50 years' worth of agricultural soil left.

Sadhguru stated during his talk that 27,000 species of soil organisms become extinct each year, implying that we will reach a "point of no return" for soil in 30 to 35 years.

"But right now, we have the challenge, as well as the privilege, of being that generation," Sadhguru said at the UNCCD's COP15. "If we act now, we can be that generation that brings the world back from the brink of disaster."

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