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1/3 of soil degraded

Lost soil

Due to overgrazing, chemical-intensive farming techniques, deforestation and other threats, about a third of the world's soil is considered degraded. On top of that, an estimated 75 billion metric tons of soil are lost every single year — the equivalent of more than 200,000 Empire State Buildings. Replenishing lost soil is no easy task — it takes more than 500 years to create 1 inch of topsoil.

$400B in damages

Economic impact

When rain washes eroded soil into rivers, the runoff can damage fisheries, infrastructure and property — damages that, worldwide, add up to an estimated US$ 400 billion per year. This economic impact is also due in part to productivity losses — as a result of soil erosion over the past 40 years, 30% of the world's arable land has become unproductive.

795M hungry people

Food crisis

Soil is the reason we have crops and livestock — but the loss of more soil puts more pressure on the global food supply. As of 2015, 795 million people struggle with food security, 98% of them in developing countries. To keep pace with a growing population — projected to reach 9 billion by 2050 — food production will need to increase by 70%.

Finding ways to feed the world — without destroying it

Our scientists are working to find solutions to the global food crisis, including gaining a better understanding of how farmers can sustainably increase production. Around the world, we work to end unsustainable agricultural practices and promote more responsible activities. We work with our corporate partners to better understand the challenges of complex supply chains, including how raw materials are sourced.

How can you h​elp the soil?

Join Us

We get our hands dirty around the world to protect nature for people. Join our email list and receive updates about these vital efforts.

Thank you!


Our conservation work around the world is rooted in the generous support of donors. Help us ensure that soil continues to provide food, and so much more, for generations to come.