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Spiritual leader ‘saves soil’ via epic 30,000 km journey across Europe and Asia

When we think of climate change, we usually think of water shortages, high temperatures and melting ice caps.

But experts say that soil – and soil erosion – through years of intensive farming, could help to create the conditions for a potential global food production crisis.

On Monday (March 21), Indian spiritual leader Sadhguru began an epic 30,000 km motorcycle journey to highlight the plight of the world’s soil, which will take him across Europe, Middle East and finally India.

“What I’ve seen in the last two years of campaigning for this, across the world, is that almost every responsible person in the world who holds some position of responsibility, everybody knows the problem, everybody reasonably knows which direction is the solution, but it looks like they were waiting for an idiot to build a (inaudible) and here I am,” Sadghuru told Reuters.

Nearly a third of the earth’s soil is already degraded. Erosion strips away the highly fertile top layer of soil.

An area of soil the size of a soccer pitch is eroded every five seconds, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 2020.

The campaign, “Save Soil”, will see Sadhguru meet with politicians, businesses, celebrities, charities and the public across his 30,000 km journey, calling for urgent change in their policies on how to protect and restore soil health.

Asked what his biggest challenge on the journey would be, Sadghuru said: “I think in northern Europe it’s still snowing, yesterday there was snow in even Istanbul. So maybe a little, I’ll be frozen a bit. I hope the roads are not icy because a motorcycle and icy roads don’t really gel well.. And then I’ll be entering Arabia when temperatures are at 38 degrees centigrade – that should be a good tour and then I’m entering India in the peak of monsoon, I don’t think you will have seen India monsoon, it’s another place.”

A group of activists were in London’s Parliament Square for the send-off. A day earlier, around 6,000 people had watched Sadghuru speak at London’s Excel Centre.

“When all this is happening, somehow people manage to just sleep through everything. Sleep is not a crime, but if you sleep through your life it will be a disaster. We want to make sure that disaster doesn’t happen. If all of you are with us I’m sure we can make sure this doesn’t happen. Thank you. Thank you very much,” the spiritual leader said.

Sadhguru hopes that soil will become a key election pledge and voting issue for governments and voters around the world. His aim is to encourage more than 60% of the world’s population, or 6.5 billion people to get involved.

The “Save Soil” campaign already has the backing of the World Food Programme, United Nations, World Economic Forum and the Dalai Lama.

The heads of Government and Ministers for Health, Agriculture, and Environment from five Caribbean nations have also endorsed the Save Soil initiative by signing a memorandum of understanding.

(Production: Lucy Towers)

Courtesy: Isha Foundation

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